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I know how to solve it!! looking at NHTSA data

somebody posted the link. I have a quick "fit it right now to be seen as doing *something*" solution. (tongue in cheek mind)

Mandatory training for 40+ year olds.

The youngsters are steadily declining as a %age of dying - they either are getting a clue or insurance rates are "helping them" or more likely their parents are demanding they gear up, or their young reflexes and bodies withstand a lot more damage without kicking the bucket (probably a bit of the last 2).

The 20/30's folk haven't changed much to notice but probably have wives that have said "if you love me/the children you will get some training or quit riding that *thing*". Those that do ride either have the cash for the first time because they have a real job for once and want to try it while they've still got a decent supply of

testosterone still in the blood and consider themselves worthy of "confident grown man" status (20-29yr olds in particular).

I strongly suspect only graduated licensing or mandatory training programs (for example) will make a dent in the 20-39 crowd. Left alone we will always have those percentages in USA society and they will remain essentially constant as they have for 10 years already.

The big-time spike is in the 40+ group. I suspect if we carved into the DMV records we'd find that a whole ton of them (%age wise) are returning riders that back in 1980 were those 'kids' in the 29 on down sector which also happened to coincide rather nicely when motorcycles really took off in this country. (Table 5)

They have the financial ability now to buy a HD or similar "cruiser"-type that generally displaces over 1000cc. Have no formal training (they "learned" to ride 20 years ago on some 100cc dirt bike or smaller than CB350). And likely as not don't have kids at home so have no moral incentive to wear a helmet or otherwise reduce their risk exposure. They are likely "rewarding" themselves with a long-delayed toy and no damn gubmint is going to tell them how to live and they definately don't need some punk-ass telling them they don't know how to ride. They "remember" what it was like to crash on their bikes 20 years ago and hey, they lived through that well enough, why would anything be different now?

The big spike in injury/deaths is really nothing more than a huge surge in the 40+ age group buying bikes again. (Table 5)

And 40+ year old bodies don't exactly crash as well as 20 something's either.

I have a sneaky suspicion though that 50 years from now if we come back and tabulate the data, the big surge we're seeing will only be a short-lived thing and will disappear just as soon as the damn 60's generation (that has done so much damage to this country in so many ways) dies off already.

Not to say that as a %age of the riding population, the 40+ group won't be a little higher than it was observed to be in 1993 but it will return to baseline.

We need the crash data from 1980 though to make a better hypothesis, however. It's easy to jump to the conclusion that "It's displacement, stupid" since that also correlates rather nicely but I think that just happens to be a totally unrelated factor: 40+ yr olds buy bling-bling in the form of cruisers is all. What would be VERY interesting is if we actually had graduated licensing in this country and the 40+ crowd was FORCED to start on 250's. Then the displacement metric might be more useful.

Motorcycle Consumer News did a recent article on rider deaths (as opposed to injuries) vs SUV sales and they too had a very interesting correllation pattern that bears much closer study. I don't remember if they addressed rider age...

Correllation is not causation, however. "Pundits" and those who write "social-awareness" books etc. can't get that through their head.

Anyone want to take my bet that as soon as the 60's people are out of the rider population the %ages will go right back to say 1993's values even while raw numbers continue to drop due to ever smaller population size?
 
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