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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.
 
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