Very true. It's something I usually bring up, but now I don't have to.
No matter where you are, drinking seems to be the leading cause of or contributor to bike accidents. That's not to say they were at Bike Week, but I'd be surprised if they didn't have something to do with most of the single bike and bike-to-bike accidents.
"Indeed. Since the law requiring motorcycle riders in Florida to wear protective helmets was repealed in 2000, there has been a stunning 81 percent increase in biker deaths. Most of the Bike Week victims were not wearing helmets. Hospitals have complained that many injured riders have disregarded the state requirement that unhelmeted riders have $10,000 in personal injury protection, which wouldn't pay for much care anyway. So those who require care for serious head injuries get it at others' expense."
Mix the above with booze and you have an environment ripe for MC DOA's.
Without massive amounts of drinking, there aren't massive profits. These people talk out of two sides of their face. If they want to stop the carnage, then cancel Bike Week and Biketoberfest too. See how THAT sits with the local businesses. I'm sure they are all on board to do anything it takes even if only one life is saved. I know I am.
Perspective: 1/2 million visitors and 20 deaths. Any death is sad but when you consider the total head count it's a remarkably low number of live lost. I more curious about the number of motorcycle involve accidents or arrest for DUI.
The highly regarded individuals killed may have been part time riders. BTW, does this mean the other deaths were individuals not highly regarded?
Lawrence Grodsky, in his Safety Column in a recent issue of Rider mentioned five rider characteristics that reduce risk of an accident. One of them was, if you can't ride at least 3000 miles a year to take up another hobby.
20 deaths out of half a million people sounds low, but if you were to extrapolate it out to a full year and the full population of the US, it would look far more significant. Figure Bike Week to encompass at least two weeks, unless I dropped a decimal point, it comes to over 300,000 fatalities.
I actually rode to Bike Week for 6 years straight. Last one I went to was in 2000. I don't really drink much, so the big party thing wasn't a big deal. I just liked doing the test rides at the track, watching the racing and soaking up the sun . Those events are non-attended by the Daytona Faithful.
The reported 80% increase in motorcycle deaths since helmet law repeal in FL (7/1/2000) is misleading because it conveniently ignores the increase in the number of motorcycles in the state.
As it happens, Florida's repeal took place during the period of explosive growth motorcycling has seen in the past decade. And Florida has seen even more growth than the rest of the US, with registrations doubling between 1998 and 2004. This chart, shows the rather unremarkable trend in FL motorcycle deaths per 10,000 registrations from 1993 to 2004. I believe that some of the increase since 1999 is due to helmet law repeal, but most of the "80%" is due to the increasing popularity fo motorcycling, not to a disproportionate increase in crashes. (Chart compiled from NHTSA and FL Dept. of HS&MV data.)
For info, here are some details on the reported 20 deaths, compiled from various news media sources. Other than the bike-vs-bike crashes, they seem to be fairly typical of motorcycle crashes that might happen anywhere. But with a few hundred thousand bikers in and around Daytona Beach for Bike Week, they happened there instead.
Jody Driggers: Daytona Beach, 3/3, noon.
Unhelmeted 39yo GA rider was killed when hit while stopped at light by 74yo Minnesotan SUV driver.
Dean K. Ruland: Bunnell, 3/5, 4:00pm.
65yo Harley rider from NY was killed when he hit van driven by 32yo local woman who pulled into his path from cross-street.
Louis Polk: Ormond-by-the-Sea, 3/5, 7:30pm.
44yo Triumph rider from Daytona Beach was killed when he hit oncoming van that crossed centerline after driver experienced a medical problem.
Craig Arthur Brooks: Port Orange, 3/5, 9:30pm.
23yo Suzuki rider was killed when he lost control in a curve and hit oncoming pickup head-on.
and Janet Solomon Weisbach (Welsbach?): Palm Coast, 3/5, 3:30pm.
Unhelmeted 41yo rider from Boca Raton and his 37yo helmeted wife were both killed when their motorcycle hit pickup driven by 22yo local man who pulled into motorcycles path from cross street.
Rocio Piccirillo: St. Augustine, 3/5, night.
Helmeted 21yo Jacksonville woman, passenger on motorcycle ridden by 25yo man, was killed when the motorcycle was rear-ended on the freeway by SUV as 37yo driver with suspended license changed lanes.
Richard Germain: Ocala, 3/8, 2:30pm.
21yo Honda rider from NH, after being passed by truck, attempted to re-pass but lost control and was killed when he fell from the bike and was hit by oncoming Gold Wing.
David Batson: Daytona Beach, 3/8, 1:30pm.
Helmeted 60yo Cocoa Beach rider was killed when he hit oncoming pickup driven by 64yo local man who turned left in front of the motorcycle.
Lawrence M. Lokatys: Palm Coast, 3/8, night.
48yo rider from CT was killed when he lost control in a curve, ran off the road, and landed in a marsh.
Jerry C. Bolding: Dayona Beach, 3/9.
Unhelmeted 56yo Harley rider from SC was killed when he rear-ended another motorcycle slowing for traffic.
Robert Earl Cameron: New Smyrna, 3/9, 9:30pm.
Unhelmeted 47yo rider from Edgewater with wife as passenger pulled out from side street in front of another motorcycle, ridden by local off-duty LEO. The two bikes collided, and the first rider was then hit and killed by passing pickup. His wife suffered minor injuries, and the LEO was critically injured.
Joseph Poda: Barberville, 3/10, 9:00am.
Helmeted 38yo PA man was killed when he collided with left-turning Stanley Steemer van.
Jason P. Perron: Apopka, 3/10, 3:00am.
Helmeted 23yo Suzuki rider from Apopka was killed when he lost control in curve, hit curb and guardrail.
David H. Hudson: Daytona Beach, 3/10, 11:30am.
Helmeted 63yo rider from Lake Wales on 3-wheeler was killed when rear-ended while stopped at light by SUV driven by 44yo local woman. The trike hit two other motorcycles, but the occupants were apparently not seriously injured.
Alvin Palmer: Port Orange, 3/10, 8:00pm.
Unhelmeted 59yo Harley rider from VA crossed centerline and hit oncoming Harley ridden by another unhelmeted rider who survived.
Walter D. Fliss: Brevard County, 3/10, 11:00pm.
51yo rider from St. Cloud on Harley with just 72.5mi on the odo was killed when he lost control in a curve and skidded into construction barrier.
Sanford Highsmith: Seminole County, 3/11, 3:30am.
43yo Harley rider from Orlando was killed when he drifted into median and crashed in culvert.
Brian Arthur Rooke: Daytona Beach, 3/11, 3:30pm.
44yo Honda Shadow rider from Palm Beach was killed when he lost control on a freeway onramp and hit guardrail.
Bruce Thalheimer: Ormond Beach, 3/11, 6:50pm.
While passing truck, helmeted 51yo rider from Naples was killed when he hit oncoming motorcycle.
Not being seen seems to be a common thread in the multi vehicle incidents in that list. Helmets may or may not have saved some lives but drivers (bike and cage) paying attention and not overtaking where they shouldn't would save more.