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Statmaster
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Liars, Damned Liars and Statisticians

I take exception to the sentence composition in that article. I don't doubt the raw numbers, but the conclusions shown in sentences such as that below seem to twist the facts:

"NHTSA data show that in 2004, 46 percent of motorcycle riders age 40 and over were killed in crashes, compared with 23 percent ten years earlier."

Are we to believe that almost 1/2 of our brother bikers (we AARP eligibles) were killed in 2004?

:ricky
 

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bob204bc said:
I take exception to the sentence composition in that article. I don't doubt the raw numbers, but the conclusions shown in sentences such as that below seem to twist the facts:

"NHTSA data show that in 2004, 46 percent of motorcycle riders age 40 and over were killed in crashes, compared with 23 percent ten years earlier."

Are we to believe that almost 1/2 of our brother bikers (we AARP eligibles) were killed in 2004?

:ricky
Yeah...to me it should read:
"NHTSA data show that in 2004, 46 percent of motorcycle riders killed in crashes were age 40 and over, compared with 23 percent ten years earlier."
And a big reason for it is because a lot of 'over 40' boomers bought motorcycles in that period.
 

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I think the data on fatalities/injuries by time of day is interesting. I wonder whether it means you are less likely to get hurt if you ride when there is less traffic (early in the AM and late at night) or whether it just means that fewer riders are on the road at those times and therefore less accidents occur.

I'd like to think the former is true - it would vindicate my philosophy of riding when traffic is light on the roads and before my wife wakes up and asks me to do chores around the house.
 

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Just my personal observation:

1) Florida repealed their mandatory helmet law and the first years M/C deaths rose like 33%.

2) The average age of a H/D buyer is 54 years old. A great number of them didn't ever ride bikes before or haven't rode bikes in 30 years.

3) When I go out on my BMW in full dress safety suit and full face helmet I notice that 95% of the bikes I see are either:

A. Cruiser bikes-riders without helmets riding bar to bar.

B. Crouch rockets doing 60 MPH wheelies with riders in sandals, shorts and T-shirts but no helmets.

I think there is a reason for everything. Go beyond the numbers and do a little real world snooping and there are reasons for the rise in deaths of M/C riders. These idiots that go out drinking and riding hurt all of us. The kids that have limited or no riding experience and are allowed to buy a "play-racers" that will go over 150 MPH are also hurting us.

My wife and I are looked at as odd when we go out riding in full outfits. Real M/C boots, pants and jackets with armor, full face helmets and actual M/C gloves. I see women in tank tops, short shorts and sandals, nothing on their heads and hanging off the back of a cruiser bike "enjoying" the wind in their hair. Its no wonder my nephew, the emergency room trauma doctor calls these people "organ donors". He gets to see these poor souls when they come in ripped to pieces with little or no hope of survival.

Wake up!
 

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hans471 said:
B. Crouch rockets doing 60 MPH wheelies with riders in sandals, shorts and T-shirts but no helmets.
Just saw that yesterday, except that the individual was wearing a helmet (a beanie-type no less), and it was some Mr. Cool-type on a big, chromey, loud Harley instead of a rice-burner. Whatever. I just laugh when I see that sort of thing.
 

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I think the facts are pretty plain. When these sorts of stats come up, I'd like to see the same figures for cages. A fatal crash in a cage can end up with more than the driver killed.

Interesting you have States that haven't made helmets compulsory, there's one simple thing to get right.

Interesting there seems to a lot of drinking motorcyclists. On most bikes and particularly a KRS I don't think there's any room for impaired senses - everything can happen just so quick.

It's sad that motorcycles contribute greatly to reducing city and urban traffic congestion but carry the highest risk.

I thought the phrase 'Motorcycle Operator' was rather cute!



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hans471 said:
My wife and I are looked at as odd when we go out riding in full outfits.
I don't think so really, you are just not looked at at all.

Some of those folks that you think have thought you odd have bought into the ABATE philosophy as stated in the ABATE of Illinois position paper dated 4/14/06 which says:

"Focusing on injury reduction devices and mechanisms can lead to a sense of false security and subsequently, poor driving practices. " Did you know that ? Better wise up !

Couple that with their plan to teach 34,000 high school students to watch for motorcycles and their desire to develop a consistent crash data collection system and they have a plan !

Every little bit helps, but some people are beyond help. We just do what we can.

Geo
 

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i saw a good one the other day, sandles, shorts helmet and NO SHIRT. he was on some kind of jap sport bike. a true classic for the record books.
 

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I got my first real motorcycle, a Honda 305 Super Hawk, in 1964. Silly me, I always wore a helmet while riding the bike. I raced off-road bikes for seven years. I wore a LOT of safety gear. Fact is, I felt very naked and exposed without leathers, helmet, those big boots, chest protectors, etc., etc.

One thing all real bike riders know is, you have either fallen down or you will fall down, its just a matter of time. Wearing all that protective gear doesn't give me a false sense of security. Hell no! It is a constant reminder that we are always exposed to the risk of something going wrong.

Its interesting how non-riders, and non-informed riders, come up with "solutions" to our problems. Riding a motorcycle is serious business and needs 100% of a person's constant attention. As I have heard fellow pilots say, the sky is not inherently dangerous but it is terribly unforgiving of those who chose to ignore the risks and fail to plan for them.

Motorcycles share that too.
 

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I just heard some transport advisory group in UK wants to make it legal to make a left turn (right turn for US) when the stop signals are at red. They say it will speed up traffic and reduce congestion!

What hope is there for motorcyclists, when the worst no-win situation is a cage pulling out in front and you've got nowhere to go.



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Another view

Another factor that I haven't seen mentioned. My first street bike (1976) was a Honda 360. I owned probably 3 more bikes before I got anything bigger than a 750. In other words, I had lots of experience on small and medium size bikes before riding something truly big and powerful. Kids now get a 170 HP, 170 mph rocket as their first bike. Likewise 50 somethings go buy an 800 lb hawg as their first scoot. How well do you think either group does in their first real "incident"?
 

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voxmagna said:
What hope is there for motorcyclists, when the worst no-win situation is a cage pulling out in front and you've got nowhere to go.
Never had a problem here with right turns against a red light either while on two or four wheels, as it's not much more different than a turn made at a stop sign onto a busy street. Any capable driver should be able to safely perform this maneuver.
 

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hans471 said:
One thing all real bike riders know is, you have either fallen down or you will fall down, its just a matter of time. Wearing all that protective gear doesn't give me a false sense of security. Hell no! It is a constant reminder that we are always exposed to the risk of something going wrong.

Its interesting how non-riders, and non-informed riders, come up with "solutions" to our problems. Riding a motorcycle is serious business and needs 100% of a person's constant attention. As I have heard fellow pilots say, the sky is not inherently dangerous but it is terribly unforgiving of those who chose to ignore the risks and fail to plan for them.

Motorcycles share that too.
Hans,

Yes, we plan to take Illinois ABATE to task for promoting that false sense of security stupidity. Your reasoning will be included in our suggestions to them as well. Thanks !

Geo
 

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carnadero said:
Never had a problem here with right turns against a red light either while on two or four wheels, as it's not much more different than a turn made at a stop sign onto a busy street. Any capable driver should be able to safely perform this maneuver.
So when I'm coming through a junction on green (with lights at all other intersections on red), I've got to think has carnadero in his cage turning right against his red light (US roads) seen me when for years I see green and I know if I hit a cage and survive it must be their fault? Now there could be 2 lanes at that stop light and only one allowed to do a right against a red light, so what sort of view would you get in a cage of a biker coming towards you. I must have missed something, or this is being done all the time in other parts of the world? It seemed to me you either had totally managed junctions with lights, or no lights at all. Not some half & half scheme.



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voxmagna said:
So when I'm coming through a junction on green (with lights at all other intersections on red), I've got to think has carnadero in his cage turning right against his red light (US roads) seen me when for years I see green and I know if I hit a cage and survive it must be their fault? Now there could be 2 lanes at that stop light and only one allowed to do a right against a red light, so what sort of view would you get in a cage of a biker coming towards you. I must have missed something, or this is being done all the time in other parts of the world? It seemed to me you either had totally managed junctions with lights, or no lights at all. Not some half & half scheme.
The person who is turning on their red light still has to YIELD the right of way to vehicles who have a green light. This has been done in the States for years with not much problem, you just learn to look for a potential problem at intersections. If you are traveling on a multi-lane road, you could chose to travel one lane over from where a vehicle might be turning. If you think about it, it's not much of a problem.
 

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voxmagna said:
So when I'm coming through a junction on green (with lights at all other intersections on red), I've got to think has carnadero in his cage turning right against his red light (US roads) seen me when for years I see green and I know if I hit a cage and survive it must be their fault? Now there could be 2 lanes at that stop light and only one allowed to do a right against a red light, so what sort of view would you get in a cage of a biker coming towards you. I must have missed something, or this is being done all the time in other parts of the world? It seemed to me you either had totally managed junctions with lights, or no lights at all. Not some half & half scheme.
Just to be clear, the person turning against the red must yield (or, "give way", as I saw it phrased in Australia :p ) to any vehicles already in the intersection and/or approaching with the authority of the green. With regard to dual turn lanes, typically the second lane is allowed to make a turn on red under the same conditions as the first, i.e. vehicles that have the green for their direction must be yielded to. Right turns on red can be prohibited by placement of a sign expressly prohibiting such a maneuver, typically worded as "No Turn On Red", and typically augmented by a red arrow on traffic lights. (you'd be surprised at how many people are unaware of the red arrow meaning and still turn anyway)
 

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carnadero said:
Just to be clear, the person turning against the red must yield (or, "give way", as I saw it phrased in Australia :p ) to any vehicles already in the intersection and/or approaching with the authority of the green. ...
In the US they are also required to come to a full stop.

Guess what. All too often I see them slowing only enough to make the turn and glancing left for oncoming traffic (right side driving.) You really have to watch them because they could easily overlook a bike.

But back to the statistics... from MOTORCYCLIST INJURIES AND INJURY RATES, 1994-2004 I see that the average miles riden in '94 was 2726. total miles ridden were steady while regitrations climbed until '04 when the average mileage was 1776.

Motorcycling is both a physical as well as cognitive skill. I don't think that's enough time in the saddle annually to maintain good skills. At 35 mph, that's less than an hour/week.

-hank
 

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HankB said:
All too often I see them slowing only enough to make the turn and glancing left for oncoming traffic (right side driving.)
This is better known as "the Hollywood stop".
 

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The Boston left turn

Not stopping at intersections in New England without looking is a really bad one. It is known locally as the Boston Left Turn.

The problem is when they come out in front of you when riding on the right hand side the road, you have 3 alternatives:

1. Stop and maybe risk getting rear ended by the ditz behind you.

2. Accelerate rapidly and swerve left into incoming traffic lane around the idiot (now in your lane) - change underwear later

3. Swerve right if there is an opening behind them and the next cage is not in close and blind pursuit of the initial offending vehicle.

Bottom line in this area, you have to be very alert and have really well honed swerving skills. When I have the time to evade and inform, I use the Pirates Lair horn, but usually don't have time to look for the horn when you are trying to keep everything on two wheels.

I am sorry but this is a law enforcement issue, most cops are interested in collecting speeding tickets rather than enforcing stops infringements, or just as bad meandering lane changers.
 
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