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I've been in the Army for over 20 years and been riding for 17 years. Currently deployed to Iraq. On Fort Hood the safety office sends out reports giving the details of accidents that have occured. Most of these accidents (I would estimate 80%) involve riders who are either new to the sport, unlicensed, or alcohol is involved. Those who are not in the military would not believe how we get pounded all the time with safety messages, briefings, etc. Soldiers are briefed over and over about wearing safety belts, the dangers of driving while impaired, etc. Motorcyclists in our unit (maybe on the whole post) had to sign some paper stating they wouldn't do anything unsafe, would wear all required safety gear, etc. This seems to me like they (unit leaders) are doing this to cover their asses. Then if someone has an accident and it is found they were intoxicated, speeding, or not wearing a helmet, the leadership will have written evidence that they preached safety.



I think they are failing to target the people most at risk. They should be talking to ALL the soldiers, not just the ones currently registered to ride on post.

The people most at risk are those that are considering buying a motorcycle but haven't bought one yet, or those that are newbies that haven't registered their bike on post. These people are not getting the mentoring and guidance that experienced riders (like me) could be giving them.



My platoon has a huddle the last working day of each week, and I or one of the other NCOs the ride put out some safety information about motorcycling. They know they can talk with me if they are interested in getting a motorcycle or have any questions about the sport.



A lot of people that work on post (not just Soldiers) don't ride their motorcycle on the base because they don't want to go through the process of registering the bike and signing up for and taking the MSF course, not to mention having to sign a "safety contract" and having to get and endless barrage of safety briefings ad nauseum.



Sorry for the long rant...

 

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The facts are what they are about the number of deaths involving motorcyclists. The reasons are debatable. I don't think it's a matter of feeling invincible. I think people just want to have fun. A lot of people (especially single folks) have enough cash saved when they come back from a tour in the sandbox to get any new bike they want. I imagine that most of them (especially new riders) step right up to more motorcycle than they can handle, not understanding that it isn't like driving a car. Going from a go-cart to a Corvette is a lot easier than going from a bicycle to a literbike.
 

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The data on accidental deaths among the military is legit. it is tracked very closely by the military safety centers (they have an entire command dedicated to improving safety through accident investigation and lessons learned). Motorcycle fatalities among service members is a big deal in the services right now. Air Force has been having some success reducing the rate of fatalities among airmen, which they attribute to their motorcycle mentorship program. This is not just sensationalist journalism at work.
 
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