Motorcycle Forums banner
1 - 20 of 67 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
780 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,833 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,415 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
I have to agree with you,because here in orlando harley riders are all over the place. They wear very little protective gear, ride there bikes more often than sportbike riders and have you ever tried to stop a harly real fast or a quick emergency lane change!Dont get me wrong because i like harleys, but when it comes to safety I would rather be riding a sport bike with protective gear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
I disagree. This purely my subjective opinion, but, I think my H-D does pretty good at a quick emergency lane change, and though the brakes lack feel, and take some effort, I think they do a pretty good job of slowing the mass down. I also ride my Harly alot more conservatively than my Kaw Concours. I feel more at risk on the Connie. I dont think I ride real aggressive on it, but definitely more than the H-D. But you do have a point on lack of protective gear on any kind of ride, and frequency of use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
This data is disturbingly misleading. As someone else pointed out, the curve is preselected by using 1997 as the baseline. In 1990, about 3200 fatalities on bikes were reported by NHTSA, about the same as this year. There are more bikes now, but I haven't easily found registrations for 2002. In 1980, there were over 5000 fatalities on bikes. Using vehicle miles is ludicrous, since these are not even estimates -more like guesstimates, but even so, there are a lot more vehicle miles now anyway with more bikes. The real question is not why we have the current fatality rate which demonstrates dramatic improvement over the last 20 years and relative stability over the last 10; rather, why was there a downward blip in the late 1990's when the fatality improvement was so much better than the general 20 year trend. In other words, there is no epidemic of death on motorcycles at this time - we're right where one would statistically expect us to be. We should just try to figure out what was going on right in 1996-99, as well as why we improved so much from 1980.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Everytime I see a report like this, I wonder why we are always left to guess what the cause of the trend is. Do police accident reports contain relevent info like type of bike (make/model), age of rider, whether or not the rider was wearing protective equipment, involvement of alchohol, and suspected reason for the accident (hit by truck, rode off cliff) ?? This all seems like basic stuff that would be recorded after a fatality occurs. Some things, like rider skill level, would be harder to determine. But, we shouldn't have to guess about everything. If the experts investigated a little harder, maybe they wouldn't be stumped.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
780 Posts
Re: Take a look at the NHTSA study

It echos the Hurt Report perfectly, doesn't it?

The over-40 alchohol figures are scary. Alcohol and helmets alone are enough to reverse the trend. Given time, natural selection will prevail.

The studies and initiatives they propose look great to me. No hint of abolitionist tendencies or black helicopters; just what can we do to help.

Thanks for this post. Worth the MO subscription all by itself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Easy for the uninformed to blame it on the, oh, why not the investigators. All that basic stuff as you call it IS recorded on traffic accident reports. But all that is the "what happened" of specific collisions. You can make a good database with that info, and identify new trends, but trying to figure out why those trends are happening can be a bit more difficult.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
If "Other nations are seeing a similar rise in motorcycle deaths" it would seem to point to

the bikes themselves. Every country has different safety requlations, road conditions and rider populations but that doesn't seem to be a factor if the statistics are similar everywhere.
 
1 - 20 of 67 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top