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Old 10-12-2001, 09:43 AM   #21
Poser
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Default Call it midless, but...

Your points are very good- an idiot on a motorcycle can also wipe out another rider.



For what its worth, I ride nearly every day that there is no snow on the road. I wear a Snell/ DOT full face helmet, full boots, gloves, and armored leathers or an armored rain suit whenever I ride. I also wear a seat and shoulder belt in the cage and have since they became available in the early seventies.



That said, why should there be a law that says I have to keep myself safe? If you don't hurt others, go ahead and kill yourself! If you have any respect for yourself, your family, and your friends, you will behave intellegently. Drunk driving or riding has a large direct impact on the safety of others. Helmet use only has a minimal impact on the safety of others.



I will continue to rant, midlessly if you want to call it that, against ever larger, ever more awkward vehicles that make their drivers feel invulnerable or superior to others on the road and isolated from the consequences of their actions. They take up more room on the road, block everyone else's vision, use a disproportionate amount of resources to manufacture and operate. Did I miss anything? I have similar objections to needlessly large automobiles other than SUVs.



Finally, if motorcyclists were not such a small minority, we would be harder to ignore both on the road and politically.



I guess I need a bigger dose. The medicine just isn't working anymore.
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Old 10-12-2001, 09:46 AM   #22
Poser
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Default Nearly 30% ain't bad

Improving your chances of survival by 30% is pretty good, I think. I will keep wearing my helmet. It is a full face helmet. I kinda want to have a face if I survive.
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Old 10-12-2001, 09:53 AM   #23
das
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Default Re: Another case of mindlessness

The singling out of SUV's is not completely irrational. It comes from experience, just like your claim about single-vehicle versus multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes. The reason that people don't complain about pickup trucks being driven carelessly as much as they complain about SUV's being driven carelessly, is because they aren't.



It is human nature to stereotype based on experience for predictive purposes. This is a good thing; it helps you to survive (literally). Unfortunately, some people use invalid data, or use invalid reasoning to reach conclusions not supported by the data, or take extreme actions based on their stereotypes. But in general, most widely-held stereotypes are well-founded in reality.



Before SUV's were popular, two common targets of careless driving complaints were Volvos and minivans. My guess is that the reason for this shift is that it's largely the same type of people who used to drive those vehicles that now drive SUVs. I agree that what makes these people dangerous is not merely the physics of the vehicle, but their carelessness.



At the same time, however, there's no denying physics. If you are struck by another vehicle, the larger/heavier that vehicle is, the more likely you are to be injured or killed. That is a fact, and has been substantiated by investigation of actual crash data.



Somewhere in there is the root of the argument that efforts should be made to guide the type of people who tend to be careless to smaller vehicles. I think a better approach is to attempt to stem the carelessness itself, but not everyone shares that opinion.





BTW, your claim about single-vehicle motorcycle crashes is quite possibly correct (that there are more of those than multi-vehicle crashes). However, when there is a fatality (which is what this report is about), then that is not the case. To quote the report:



"More than one-half (1,550) of all motorcycles involved in fatal crashes in 2000 collided with another motor vehicle in transport."



As for your point:

#1 - There's no data in this report either way ... either for or against the argument that SUV's are more dangerous to motorcyclists than other vehicles. If you have other data, let us know.



#2 - There is evidence in the report that you should wear a helmet. It says that there is 67% helmet usage in general, but only 55% helmet usage for operators in motorcyclist fatalities... implying that the people who don't wear helmets are a disproportionately large portion of the riders in fatal accidents.



However, it doesn't provide any such information about speed or alcohol use. What is lacking is comparative information about the speeding and drinking habits of those NOT involved in fatal accidents.



For example, it says 41% of riders in fatal accidents were drunk (BAC > .1%). However, if riders are drunk 95% of the time they ride, then it's the sober ones that are crashing too much.



Of course that 95% number is ludicrous, but my point is that there isn't sufficient evidence in the report to substaniate your claim that motocyclists should slow down and lay off the booze.



Of course, it's obvious to most people that alcohol consumption impares your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely, so it's probably wise to lay off the booze when riding. And it's obvious to most people that, if you're riding so fast that you cannot react safely to common hazards, then you should slow down. But, just like #1, this report doesn't provide sufficient data by itself to make those claims.



Me? I always wear my helmet (and other gear); I never, ever drink and ride; and, well, I try to keep my speed to a reasonable level, though I admit, not always successfully.



Happy riding...
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Old 10-12-2001, 09:56 AM   #24
Poser
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Default Was Darwin an Insurance Agent?

I doubt that dead riders cost much. Just burial expenses. A rider that survives because he was wearing a helmet costs more than a rider that died because he didn't.



The cost argument doesn't wash with me:



A helmeted rider may escape injuries the un-helmeted rider suffers. The helmeted rider costs less in this accident. (I had one like this and walked away with a big scrape in the temple/ side of face of my helmet. The only real wound was to my bike and my ego. It would have hurt a LOT if I wasn't wearing a helmet and leathers. Both of my brothers have had similar experiences.)



A helmeted rider may survive with major injuries in an accident that would have killed the un-helmeted rider. The helmeted rider costs more in this accident.



What does this mean? Just that the cost curve gets pushed to the right, making costs similar for helmeted and un-helmeted riders the same, but the accident severity for a given cost is greater for the helmeted rider.
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Old 10-12-2001, 10:10 AM   #25
das
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Default Re: The argument against SUVs

Yeah, I've noticed that SUV's are driven differently than cars.



It's not so obvious when I'm on my bike, but when I'm driving my car (an Eagle Talon), I've noticed that SUV's tend to tailgate me more (and worse) than cars do.



I think the reason is that people in SUV's can see over my car, so they feel more comfortable tailgating me.
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Old 10-12-2001, 10:21 AM   #26
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Default Re: NHTSA releases most recent safety stats

I don't think it is fair to expect society to pick up the tab for one person's foolishness and "freedom".



If people are incapable of making some basic choices in personal safety, then perhaps they have too much freedom, and don't know what to do with it.



If they do not have laws to require the use of helmets, then i think insurance companies should not be responsible for medical coverage of a person if that person gets into accident w/o helmet. This will either a) get people to where them, or, b) contribute to the greater good of the responsible motorcycling community by alleviating the burden on insurance caused by soaring medical bills of more seriously injured riders w/o helmets.



i love it when some moron gives the "there are 2 types of riders, those that have crashed and those that are going to" So, then, have YOU crashed? "Umm, no, i have only been riding a few months." So, why aren't you wearing a helmet......





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Old 10-12-2001, 10:48 AM   #27
RedShift42
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Default Re: Another case of mindlessness

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that its not the actual vehicle we're railing against here, but rather indicting a type of driver based on what they're driving.

In a nutshell: idiots are driving SUVs.



These are people who eschew common sense in an effort to make a lifestyle statement and/or feel outdoorsey.

Given, there are those of us who can sensibly justify an SUV for the "U" part. We go into the *real* snow, haul trailers and gear, etc.

...and then there's the rest. Those who cannot bear the idea of something as stodgy as a sedan, station wagon or -gasp- a minivan. These are people incapable of making a sensible decision with comfort, safety, and efficiency in mind. Instead, their decision compromises those elements for fashion.



And then these people get behind the wheel.



SO here's why we condemn SUVs-- because w/ resonable accuracy we can identify their driving ability by their decision-making skills. Call it "Driver Profiling."

The SUV is an easy identifier for us-- we can spot them easily in traffic and have a pretty good idea of who's driving.

Yeah, as riders survival mandates we assume *all* vehicles are dangerous. But is there another group out there who so routinely demonstrates it?

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Old 10-12-2001, 11:10 AM   #28
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Default Re: The argument against SUVs

Comming from a New Zealand perspective, the SUVs aint driven much different than cars, until the roads get dangerous. To quote my moronic old boss 'I just stick it in 4wd and go', in reference to driving in slick ice. Then he wonders why he skids out and hits things.

Nothing is funnier than a SUV in a ditch because the driver was being .
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Old 10-12-2001, 08:22 PM   #29
grover750
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Default You rock

Redshift42,



That was an awesome post. Driver profiling, what a concept. I've been ripping on SUVs ever since the fad started, and have never heard that argument before. I'm going to avoid them even more than before. It's refreshing to read a post that presents an argument I've never heard before.



For a great article on the SUV fad, go to your local library and find the April 2001 edition of Harper's Magazine. There is an article entitled "Bad Sports Or: how we learned to stop worrying and love the SUV". Absolute candy for SUV haters.



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Old 10-13-2001, 06:24 AM   #30
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Default NHTSA safety stats show, Red Saves Lives!

All-red motorcycles were involved in fewer accidents than motorcycles with Bold New Graphics.
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