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DucButt 01-25-2003 10:34 AM

Re: Crash! Splat!
Sacramento Bee ran the same article, but omitted many of the facts. Seems statistics can often mislead.

Shrimp aquaculture - is that like throwing minime in a hot tub and making him watch ballet?

jmeyn 01-25-2003 10:46 AM

More than surprising
That's a huge jump for such a short period. Wouldn't be surprised if there were a data collection change involved here.

We've discussed all the reasons for the higher accident/death rates pretty exhaustively. It seems to boil down to irresponsible/ill-informed/unprotected riders on faster and faster and faster bikes.

I wish I could help design the study plan if they decide to do one. They could use our help on this one.

BMW4VWW 01-25-2003 11:02 AM

Re: Crash! Splat!
If one looks at the increase in the average age of those involed in fatal accidents, and the number of new Harleys sold in the last few years, it's pretty easy to surmise that the increase is largely made up of those new to motorcycling, affluent riders. I personaly have witnessed several crashes by riders who fit this description here in Northern California. Before all of you that are acolytes of the Highwayman start flaming me, I have owned over thirty bikes several of which were Harleys. VWW

pbx 01-25-2003 11:54 AM

Take a look at the NHTSA study
This is a Knight-Ridder wire story that's been running in papers across the country over the past few days. The whole "experts are baffled" angle the reporter used is unfortunate, because if you look at the NHTSA study it is based on they have plenty of data for de-baffling.

For one thing, the 50% increase is measured since 1997 -- which was an all-time low. If you look at the graph from 1992 to 2002 it's a pronounced "V" shape.

For another, they note that there has been a significant drop in helmet use, especially in the past two years.

The study is worth looking at also because they detail the further studies they're planning to do over the next five or six years. Those are the ones to look out for, because their findings will probably be used to back up any new laws aimed at stopping this "alarming trend."

The NHTSA seems to believe strongly in training, so maybe we will end up seeing tiered licensing in this country. About time IMO.

arizonagerg 01-25-2003 12:08 PM

Re: Take a look at the NHTSA study
"For one thing, the 50% increase is measured since 1997 -- which was an all-time low. If you look at the graph from 1992 to 2002 it's a pronounced "V" shape. "

What's your point with this statement? I think one of the points of the artice, is that it is unusual that the fatality rates have been climbing since 97, when for years, they had been falling.

pbx 01-25-2003 12:31 PM

Point taken
I agree it's significant, I just think it's presented in an alarmist way. Where were the articles in 1997 saying, "motorcycle fatalities drop by 50%, experts are baffled"? It's more interesting to look at the detailed data. For instance, the study says, "Motorcyclists age 40 and over riding larger motorcycle engine sizes account for the fastest growing group of motorcyclist fatalities" -- not that this comes as a surprise to MO most readers.

arizonagerg 01-25-2003 01:02 PM

Re: Point taken
I hear you. Havent seen the figures in several years, but overall highway deaths have been dropping every year since they started counting reliably in the 40s. Thats why I think a rise in M/C fatalities over a 5 year span is very significant.

Back in the late 80s, I did a research paper against the 55 mph speed limit. One of the big arguments for it was that it, "saves lives". Well figures lie, and liars figure. When NHTSA would make this claim, they failed to say that death rates had been decreasing every year anyways.

I just finished reading the entire report and it was very informative. I was surprised that the biggest increase in fatalities comes from single vehicle M/C accidents in RURAL areas with big engine'd bikes. Go figure! Still, it looks like alcohol impairment, and also helmet use are still the biggest factors, which we as rideres can control.

Thanks for the link!

sarnali 01-25-2003 01:46 PM

Re: Crash! Splat!
Kinda hard to draw conclusions from a newspaper artical, when the "experts " themselves are stumped, One thing noted is the average age is up, a higher percentage of re-entry riders seem to fall into that age group, and a few in that particular genre disdains helmets, and tries to personnify a party-boyz-hit-every-tavern riding style. If it was sportbike squids being over represented, the average age would presumably be lower, as sportbikers tend to be younger, also injuries rose at a lower rate, that seems to indicate that proper riding gear will protect you unless you're so far above the injury threshold you're just not gonna make it, The artical also mentions how the traffic mix has shifted to alot more SUV's and pick-ups on the road, I wouldn't be surprised if these vehicals, with their major blind spots and general bulk contributed to the old "didn't see him" type of collisions, My take would be a combination of lack of entry level bikes on which to learn the basics, inexperianced riders on bikes that demand more skill and restraint than they posses, a cruiser culture that glorifies a "one or two won't hurt" attitude and no helmets, or little beanies that fool no-one, and a dramatic rise in large vehicals with f**k you, I'm in hurry drivers, throw in cell phones overall traffic population increases and it all adds up.

TheFox 01-25-2003 02:33 PM

Re: Point taken
Big engines, single riders in rural areas...sounds like your canyon carver going too fast and meeting the armco, as well as alcohol and no helmets.

--The Fox

obandoj 01-25-2003 03:20 PM

Re: Crash! Splat!
Look out El Flaco is back!

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