Lots of new riders these last few years. New riders get whacked at very high rates. That's enough to explain it. When the numbers of new riders goes down then the accident rate will go down. It never fails.
Doesn't matter what bike they're riding. That first year is a bytch.
This morning, just up the street from my office, a sport bike rider was splattered on the road, front forks and wheel were squashed back past the frame. I checked our local newpaper's website at lunch, and it appears the driver of the car he T-boned was coming out of the donut shop, and claims "she never saw the motorcycle." The rider is listed as "critical but stable." Maybe she was eating, I don't know. It's hard enough to be seen on my bike without all the crap in the car... In Europe they have no cup holders in their cars. The idea of eating and drinking while driving is just weird to them. I know here in South Florida we believe in loud pipes. Say what you want, but I know without a doubt that I don't get "lane changed" on by cagers as much now as when I was running a stock exhaust on my HD. Even my sportbike buddies agree with me on that score.
Distracted drivers are definitely a growing problem for motorcyclists. I try to make everyone I train aware of the enormity of the problem. We're already hard to see and those attention grabbing devices in the cage just make it harder. I am tired of hearing,"I didn't see you." When you see the distracted driver, stay away, follow them (if you can stand it), and when there's a crash, you get to be a witness vs. a participant. If you're wearing a helmet and they're wearing a car; they win even if they're wrong.
No easy answer but I will say that cars have become entertainment centers on wheels. Drivers in this country blissfully spend their time talking and watching news while driving and acting as if their actions do not matter since they're so busy talking on the cell. I am constantly concerned when I'm driving my truck with inattentive drivers nearly running into me. When on the bike, I have assumed they don't see me at all and that they will pull in front of me at any second. It has happened before and will happen again but I've been prepared. Law enforcement seems oblivious other to an reactionary role just blaming the bike for being on the road at all. Motorbikes are second class citizens on America's highway and streets and since riders don't have sufficient political or economic clout to change that bias, it will fall onto the rider to have the ability and skill to negotiate the complete lack of public concern for the motorcyclist. Hopefully, we can get the AMA to put more pressure on the training of cagers to be aware of motorcyclists as well as the gradual reduction of these attention reducing activities that are taken for granted in today's driving environment. Take care and be safe.
In the glorious state of Utah, one of our state reps was sponsoring a bill to allow police to ticket people for "distracted driving". He says he drafted this bill after witnessing a woman driver swerving on the road while eating a salad she was holding in her lap.
Last I heard, it was killed in committee because another representative, who is a police officer, said it's unreasonable to ticket someone who is turning around in their seat while driving to buckle in their child who may have undone their buckle.
Because, of course, it's apparently unreasonable to pull over and do this and, for god's sake, we have to THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
I assume, also, that this means that Utah's finest do not have the capacity to differentiate between buckling child in and salad eating.
Don't forget being Union-Busting right to work capitolist oppressors getting ready to do a Lee Iacoca and wrap themselves in the flag while offloading their "American Made" motorcycle manufacturing to North Korea
Clement Salvadori did an article along those lines a few years back. The gist of it was that a rider with a few years and over 10k miles riding geared up and sober was so far below the radar that there was no statistical difference between cagers and motorcycles, in fact the motorcyclist was a little lower than the car owing to the fact that they were paying more attention than the average cager.
I am a very high time pilot, going on about 40 years of daily riding. I recently dropped my ZX12r on Mulholland when a woman wearing scrubs, talking on a cell phone, pulled out of a driveway and stopped her car crossways across both lanes, in the middle of a tight curve.There were some wet leaves on the road which I hit while braking to avoid this moron. When I woke up, pushed the bike out of traffic, I saw the woman get out of her car, call 911 on the cell, then split. This is becoming a routine daily occurrance. Talking on cells while driving should be a moving violation. Leaving the scene of a collision after calling 911 should also be an infraction. There, I've said me piece.
We all have witnessed examples of "extreme multi-tasking". A few months ago I wondered why an enormous SUV wandered over into my lane several times.
It took several incredulous looks for me to realize the driver was:
1. Talking on her cell phone.
2. Was struggling with keeping a bowl wedged between her paunch and the steering wheel.
3. Was eating cereal with a spoon- with milk, of course- from said bowl.
We were traveling at well north of 65mph at the time.
Not that I blame her, of course. I blame the cereal industry. She was just trying to finish her breakfast before the stuff went soggy. Don't you hate it when you cause a 15 car pileup AND your Cap'n F'in Crunch is soggy?