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Old 07-03-2001, 02:48 PM   #41
wwalkersd
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

A couple of things the press release fails to mention:



Has the death rate, i.e., deaths per 100 million miles traveled, increased? They say it's 36.5, but they don't say whether that's an increase. Deaths are up more than registrations, but are miles driven up? If miles are up, and the death rate is unchanged, then you get (surprise!) more deaths.



The death rate is really the key number, IMHO.
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Old 07-03-2001, 03:28 PM   #42
CarsSuck
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Default That's a good idea.

Because cops are all really smart.
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Old 07-03-2001, 04:23 PM   #43
Shaft
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

Plus, Harleys are way too heavy, have shi##y brakes, and you can't lean over far enough to avoid an accident or you'll peg out and dump the bike. (I've actually witnessed this twice... one of the guys barely saved it, just missing a wall that would have messed him up good). Combine this with stupid, old, out of shape, mid life crisis 40 somethings and your looking at the potential for some nasty accidents.
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Old 07-03-2001, 04:33 PM   #44
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

It's amazing that the common folk are the smart ones and the 'safety nazis" have no clue. What you said is exactly right, but they'll blame the "young stupid kids on those overpowered sportbikes" and probably attack the big four with a 25HP limit. Most of the safety nazis are, I imagine, between 40 and 49 so it COUUUUUUUUUULDN'T BE THEM that are killing themselves... stupid, gross, old bastards.
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Old 07-03-2001, 04:34 PM   #45
theDuke2001
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Default Re: Motorcycle Death Statistics

I took a look at the NHTSA statistics on their web site. There were some interesting things that the press release did not mention:



1) The death RATE (deaths per 100 million VMT) appears to have risen VERY slightly from 1998 to 1999. Eyeballing the chart (numbers not given) it appears to have gone from 23 to 24. However, this is still FAR below the rate in 1990, which appears to be 34. I would really question whether this death rate change is even statistically significant or may simply be an expected year to year random variation.



2) Similarly, the death rate per vehicles registered appears to have stayed exactly the same from 1998 to 1999. This rate is still about 30% lower than in 1990.



3) Of the motorcycle fatalities, approximately 51% WERE wearing helmets at the time of death. The statistics are a bit fuzzy, but the article states that helmet use was observed to be (effectively) 100% in areas that require their use and from 34-54% in areas that do not. Since most states still require helmet use, this would leave me to believe that un-lidded riders are over represented amongst the fatalities, but I don't have much to go on here besides supposition and common sense.



4) The alcohol statistics are equally fuzzy. Common sense tells me that riders who are intoxicated are more likely to crash. The statistics say that 38% of the dead riders had some alcohol in their systems (28% were over 0.10 BAC, which is legally drunk everywhere). 50% of the riders killed in single vehicle crashes were over 0.10 BAC. However, we don't know what percentage of the deaths were caused by single vehicle crashes. Furthermore, what percentage of the riders were killed by car drivers who were drunk? I'm making a small assumption that there are certain times of the day and week when more people are drinking, so risk factors rise in general.



In fact, a chart near the bottom of this section shows that the percentage of motorcycle fatalities with BAC over 0.01 has been steadily DECLINING since 1990 from over 50% to under 40%! Yes, drinking and riding is stupid, but motorcyclists seem to be behaving themselves more today than ever before. Of course, this is only statistics, so believe what you want.



5) In terms of licensed drivers, 30% of motorcycle operators killed in accidents were not licensed. However, the statistics show that this is the LOWEST percentage in 10 years! In 1990, this number was 42%. So, what is the efficacy of motorcycle licensing? The accident rate has been fairly steady for the past few years despite the fact that the percentage of fatal crashes involve a higher percentage of LICENSED riders. Since most states require one to simply ride a bike to the end of the parking lot without falling over to get a license, there seems to me that this would have little affect anyway.



One statistic I'd like to see would be the percentage of fatal crashes involving riders who have graduated from MSF or equivalent training courses.



Well, that's what I got from the rest of the NHTSA data. I still hate to hear of any motorcyclist killed, but the issue is much more complicated than the knee-jerk press release makes it out to be.



I'll continue to ride with a helmet, jacket, gloves, etc. and to not drink and ride.



My stats:



32 y.o., riding 15 years, 2 MSF classes over the years and no accidents (knock on wood).
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Old 07-03-2001, 04:53 PM   #46
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Default Re: WHATS GOIN ON HERE?!?

You might want to do a bit of study on Political Science before you make comments like what you did above. As it stands you haven't acheived you majority so you personally have almost no rights and very few choices in most of the states in this part of America (remember that America extends from Canada through Chile). The USA allows you the choice to kill yourself just as it allows me the choice not to pay for your attempt should it fail. The problem is that more and more I'm loosing my choice to people who make that attempt and fail. Funny how the folks with the least knowledge of the Constitution make all sorts of claims about what it protects. Any state in the union could institute all of the above rules in their licensing system and there is nothing that you or I could do about it. States rights allows that...just like the National handgun waiting period doesn't prevent states from having a longer one just a shorter one. Federal Regs are mearly the minimum and at that they have to be approved by a majority of the states. The only exception to this on a large scale is likely California's Medical Marajuana laws and those are still under review/fire. All of this is a Moot point however as any change would more likely be across the board affecting all vehical types and the likelyhood of that happening is beyond slim Detroit holds way to many votes in Congress. The most we could realisticly expect is an increased requirement for MSF and maybe helmet laws if enough Republicans lose family members. To Bad Cager don't have to attend driving school.
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Old 07-03-2001, 04:59 PM   #47
nebo
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

Fatality statistics for motorcycle commuters are no different than for cars. Commuters are usually sober, awake, in daylight, know the roads thay are on etc. and so are better able to avoid accidents. Too many motorcyclists think of their bike as a way to play- and thay take a lot of risks. Those who think of them as transportation seem to stay safe.
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Old 07-03-2001, 05:10 PM   #48
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

Well I made all the way to 55 so I guess I'm safe? From what I read, the 40-49 set are most likely to be drunk- too many years and too many beers- can't handle it anymore.

If you really want to avoid becoming "stupid, gross, old bastard" yourself go get loaded and take a ride on unfamiliar roads- you won't get old...



I quit drinking 7 years ago, life is much better.
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Old 07-03-2001, 05:11 PM   #49
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Default Re: Motorcycle deaths rise again

I agree with what people have said about tiered licensing and HP limits being a possible solution, but I also agree that they would be difficult to implement here in North America (easier here in Canada than in the U.S., probably, but still a legislative nightmare.) My question is, why haven't insurance rates risen to the point where they act as a deterrent? In England, I think that the cost of insuring a big-bore streetbike is almost as much of a deterrent as the HP limits. I read in a Brit mag recently that they couldn't even get a policy for a GSX1000R for a 25-year-old male in London. I think experience would be a better criterion than age, however.

If insurance was based on a combination of training, horsepower, safety equipment worn, and driving record, it seems the cost would prohibit a new rider from riding a too-fast bike with improper training and equipment. I think we need a better scale than the current 10% discount you get with a good record - statistics show that people who don't have training and don't wear safety equipment get hurt/dead a lot more, and the rates should reflect that. I don't like the idea of letting insurance companies dictate transportation policy, but I think it would be effective. I'm not saying it's the best solution, or one I would particularly enjoy when I get my insurance bill, but maybe it's the most realistic way we will see more rational first-bike choices for beginners. And if someone really wants to drive around on a 150+ hp machine with no training, no helmet, etc., they can pay half the cost of the machine in insurance every year. Most people would rather save a few thousand bucks and agree to drive a second-hand Shadow or SV650 with a helmet and a leather jacket for the first few years. Then, after they have demonstrated an ability to not crash, taken a few closed-course sessions, and learned the value of leather/kevlar/cordura, they can drive whatever they want.

BTW, i'm 24, been riding about two years, don't own a car, I go everywhere on my '78 CB750F (unless there's a lot of snow). I took the Canada Safety Council course (uses some MSF materials, same type of thing). I only go fast when I think it's safe and I won't get caught. I have been in one accident - cut of by a left-turning car, hit the ground at about 70 km/h (40 mph) and I am glad I was wearing jeans, boots, leather jacket, gloves, and a helmet at the time (like I always do, even when it's too hot). I would like to try a really fast bike someday, but I don't think I'm quite ready. Even the old 750 will blast by every car on the road if I want to.



P.S. Dragracer - I don't think 'socialism' is the right word for regulating vehicles. As well, we have the right to free choice, not the priviledge. The priviledge we have is to use state-funded, public-use highways for our own profit and enjoyment. We regulate highways because the things we do on highways affect other people. I am for the least amount of regulation possible, but experience has shown that if we (the interested parties, motorcyclists) don't take action to combat the combined problem of a high death rate and bad public image, somebody else (non-motorcyclists and the politicians they vote for) will regulate it for us.



I still think bad motorcyclists and bad drivers cause 95% of the fatalities, but the rest of us responsible, good motorcyclists (like me - haha) should help to find the solution. Of course, this is probably preaching to the choir - how many helmetless, leatherless, drunken first-time motorcyclists are actually reading the MO feedback forum? My guess would be, not too many.
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Old 07-03-2001, 05:41 PM   #50
kcobb
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Default Re: Motorcycle Related Deaths Rise Again

When I took my MSF class recently, the instructor was practically begging us experienced riders to become instructors also, so severe is the shortage. He said he's been asked to teach every weekend during the summer, but can only do it twice a month. It's something you can do to help.

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