“We have met the enemy and he is us!”

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by Flashback, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. Flashback

    Flashback Active Member

    Just some food for thought.


    “We have met the enemy and he is us!”
    By Stacey “Ax” Axmaker
    Director, Idaho STAR Motorcycle Safety Program
    The Idaho motorcycle crash numbers for 2007 have come out. There’s some good news and there’s
    some bad news.
    Motorcycle fatalities are down. There were 38 fatalities in 2006 and 29 in 2007. That’s a drop of almost
    24%! The bad news is this is just about all the good news in the report.
    Crashes are up over 19%. Injuries are up over 22%. Of all riders in crashes, 86% experienced some
    kind of injury. What’s most alarming, however, is what the numbers tell us about what we are doing to
    • Of all motorcycle fatalities, 31% involved riders who had been drinking
    • Of all motorcycle crashes, 51% were single vehicle crashes (no cars, just the bike)
    Of all motorcycle fatalities, 69% were single vehicle crashes
    So, what does this tell us? It suggests that most of our crashes and fatalities are resulting from rider
    error. Make no mistake – crashes and fatalities do occur as a result of driver error and inattention as
    well, but the numbers tell us that the majority are not the fault of the drivers.
    Just what ARE these rider errors? Well, some of them are errors of skill:
    • Braking and swerving at the same time
    • Using too much rear brake and skidding into an obstacle
    • Using too little front brake and not stopping in time
    Not looking far enough through the turn and running off the road (or head on into opposing traffic)
    I would suggest that a large majority of these errors are errors of judgment. The decisions we make are
    just as important (if not more important) than our physical riding skills. Here are just some examples of
    poor judgment that can - and do - get us into trouble:
    • Entering turns too fast
    • Riding fast or accelerating into an area that you can’t see
    • Drinking and riding
    • Competing with other riders on the road
    • Trying to catch up (or keep up) with faster riders
    • Wheelies and stoppies on the road
    • Choosing denim (jeans) and cotton (t-shirts) as protective gear
    Believing “it’ll never happen to me"
    As the weather starts to change and the riding seasons starts to wind down, enjoy the last few rides of
    the year and remember that it’s poor judgment rather than poor skills that often gets us into trouble. The
    upside is that good judgment can help keep us out of trouble. Let’s all work on making the 2008 crash
    and fatality numbers even lower.
    Idaho STAR Motorcycle Safety Program
    Idaho STAR; Integrity, Service, Excellence
    1 person likes this.
  2. threesteps

    threesteps Junior Member

    Interesting article.

    Yep, most of us have pushed our limits, done dumb things, etc. I've been fortunate to avoid disaster.
  3. ironmark

    ironmark Junior Member

    What is the % of accidents of crotch rockets to cruisers & what is the age range of the highest % of accidents & how long has the person been a endorsed rider , what was the average BAC of the rider & the average age of the impaired rider , are the riders trying to avoid a cager that does something stupid ???? IMO there are to many people that take a 3 day riding course & get a MC endorsment & get sent out as a safety trained MC rider & they DO NOT have a clue on how to ride a MC what alone know how to ride a MC in traffic . I think that MC training should be longer & include a common sense evaulation !! IMO
  4. krikket

    krikket Active Member

    I haven't wrecked yet...knock on wood. But, I have done a few of those things listed and had some very close calls because of them. It's soooooo easy to become complacent.
  5. DDogg

    DDogg Junior Member

    I couldn't agree more. Nothing against crotch rockets. I love all bikes. But it seems to me, any accident I hear about or have seen lately, is crotch rocket and a kid in his early 20's. I'm 55, I did these stupid things on my Honda 750 back in the early 70's with no helmet. But come on, let's be honest, the average age of a Harley owner is 46 years old. Common sense, and a little thinking before we act goes with age. I bet the majority of those accidents were young dumb kids with no respect for what they have been their legs.
  6. Riviera Reg

    Riviera Reg Member

    I would be interested to see data relating to injuries due to no helmets vs helmets, as this is a state with only limited helmet laws.

    Idaho is a wonderful state for riding motorcycles and seems to be attracting more out of state riders every year.
  7. gunnut

    gunnut Junior Member

    Iron mark has a more valid point than all your clubbed together statistics,not to put anyone down,any information is interesting,but general stats can be made to read like the persons providing them want them too.
    I have to admit also,and it is born out by the police officers we know,most bike crashes are on crotch rockets,and the under 25's in england in general.
    I've also been amongst the "it only happens to somebody else"brigade and learned the hard way to read the road and treat ALL other road traffic with a lot of suspicion!
  8. Flashback

    Flashback Active Member

    these aren't my "clubbed together statistic" they are from the state of idaho star safety program and you can actually follow the link and read all the stats on age range percentages. for all vehicles..............

    As stated above it's true most "New" Harley owners are 45+ but tht stat doesn't mean much if you decided to jump on the yuppy parade and buy your first bike at 45, 50 ,55 or whatever. Age has no immunity to stupidity or inexperience.
  9. gunnut

    gunnut Junior Member

    Sorry Flashback,my bad,didnt intend to offend.Just trying to make the piont that statistics are often manipulated and should be looked a with suspicion.Probably my view because here the politicians are statistic crazy,and the statistics in question are ALWAYS used in part or whole to bolster the offending parties point of view.Especially with regard to guns.
  10. Flashback

    Flashback Active Member

    hehe np everyone has a right to their opinion aint america great :D lol oops just read your location hehe UK too :D