More Motorcycle Safety Statistics

Discussion in 'General OFF TOPIC' started by dbmg, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

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    Motorcycle deaths drop, but trend is worrisome
    By JOAN LOWY Associated Press The Associated Press
    Tuesday, April 19, 2011 12:54 AM EDT
    — Motorcycle deaths dropped 2 percent in the first nine months of last year, but the report by state transportation officials may signal just a blip, not a lasting improvement in safety.

    There were 80 fewer motorcycle deaths from January through September of 2010 than in the same time frame the previous year, said the report, scheduled for release Tuesday by the Governors Highway Safety Association.

    But fatalities had started to climb back up during the last three of those nine months. And that has safety advocates worried.

    "The drop is all in the front half of the year," said report author Jim Hedlund, a safety consultant. "It looks very much as if we've hit bottom and may be starting back up again."

    Fatalities were down 25 percent during the first three months of last year, and still down 1 percent in next three months after that. Then they went up 3 percent in the third quarter of the year, the report said.

    Annual motorcycle fatalities have more than doubled since the late 1990s, peaking in 2008 at 5,312 deaths. But they plunged 16 percent in 2009 as the economy tanked. What caused the drop is a matter of debate.

    Jonathan Adkins, a spokesman for the safety group that issued the report, said recreational motorcycle riding appears to have declined while the recession was at its worst, and that may explain why the number of deaths went down.

    Now that the economy is showing signs of recovery, Adkins said he's concerned a rebound in recreational riding will lead to more deaths.

    But Jeff Hennie, vice president of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, disagrees. He said the economy — especially the recent rise in gas prices — appears to have increased, not decreased, motorcycle use.

    "If I have a choice between driving a pickup or my motorcycle, I'm taking the motorcycle that gets 50 mph," Hennie said. "It's not sport, it's transportation."

    A related data trend is also worrisome. The number of motorcyclists wearing federally-approved, impact-absorbing helmets dropped 13 percent in the first nine months of 2010. At the same time, motorcyclists wearing so called "novelty" helmets — which are lightweight and offer little protection — rose 9 percent.

    A helmet that meets federal standards reduces the wearer's chances of being killed in an accident by about 40 percent, Hedlund said. The only reason for wearing a novelty helmet is to avoid getting ticketed for not wearing a helmet, he added.

    Twenty states require all motorcycle riders to wear helmets, but only 13 states specify that the helmets must meet federal standards, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The board has urged states to require all riders to wear helmets that meet federal standards.

    Lobbying by motorcyclist groups has led some states to repeal mandatory helmet laws.

    Meanwhile, BMW Motorrad USA said it will offer anti-lock brakes as standard equipment on all its 2012 model year motorcycles, the first manufacturer to take that step. Improper braking has been identified as a factor in many motorcycle crashes. BMW said its sales account for less than 3 percent of the U.S. market.
     
  2. SeaRider04

    SeaRider04 Active Member

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    ......If I have a choice between driving a pickup or my motorcycle, I'm taking the motorcycle that gets 50 mph," Hennie said. "It's not sport, it's transportation."....

    My Hemi burns 16mpg on Flat highway, 13mpg in city, my bike gets 42mpg, I do 60 miles both way going to work and back home, $3.89 for a gallon of gas, it's no brainer, I ride every chance I can get, if it not raining at 0630hr, I'll ride even though I know it'll rain latter on but...... going home anyway, may save some water at home ;0).
     
  3. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    I choose to ride ,not owning a car can be a draw back when it is cold and rainy but I will take my chances and ride as safe as I can:s I do not put a lot of faith in reports any more I believe the numbers can be skewed to report what they want others to see JMO Ride safe and aware
     
  4. glgarrett

    glgarrett Active Member

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    "Motorcycle deaths drop, but trend is worrisome" ?!?!? Just another big brother - media good news but...:bigsmiley21:
     
  5. Blindrage

    Blindrage Member

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    The problem with statistics is that unless you have the raw data it is far to easy to twist them to show whatever you want. We had a long news story here in Colorado last night talking about this exact topic of motorcycle deaths, but the reporter actually gave a little more information than most...

    Colorado had 82 motorcycle deaths last year, which was 18% of the total traffic fatalities. Looked at like that it seems like a bad trend. Especially considering how many more cars are on the road compared to motorcycles, and I do not think anyone in this forum would argue that in the event of an accident those of us on motorcycles face far greater risk of injury than someone in a car.

    But there is more information... About 33% of those fatalities were people that did not even have a motorcycle endorsement on their license. So there were riding illegally, and a much higher percentage (exact number not given) had very little seat time and had never taken a safety course.

    They did of course stress that 50% were not wearing helmets, and while a valid fact I still hope they do not use it to try and force in a helmet law... and that is coming from someone that wears a helmet 100% of my time on the bike, and stresses to others to do the same normally. It is just that I did not serve in the Air Force to protect this country's freedoms only to turn around and advocate a law that removes your choice to wear one or not.

    I would have loved to see the extended figures on all 82 deaths... how many were determined to be the fault of someone in a car? How many were single vehicle accidents were the rider lost control due to environmental conditions like rock/sand on the road?

    I ride to work almost every single day between about April 15th and Oct 15th. 70+ Miles round trip, 5 days a week. I take long rides on the weekends up into the mountains to enjoy the twists. Will all the miles that get put under our tires, to only have 82 deaths, with many of them easily attributable to people being idiots and riding far beyond their skills, seems a very low number that makes all the sensational reporting nothing more than lawmakers trying to drum up support for more restrictions.

    I sure hope I am wrong.