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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I did some research recently and found out that motorcycle involved deaths are on the rise, or at least they were for a long time and finally leveled off, but remain very high overall. Especially considering the dwindling market size, I mean Harley moved oversees for goodness sakes.

"Motorcycle-involved fatalities have more than doubled since 1997. From 1994 to 2016, motorcyclist fatalities continued to rise, from 5.7 percent of the total number of motor vehicle deaths in the United States to more than 14 percent of all traffic fatalities — even though motorcycles make up just 3 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States."

https://www.sgvtribune.com/2018/07/...r-22-years-especially-in-southern-california/

What do you think could be the causes behind these numbers? I mean of course speeding not being careful, etc. but what underlying causes for the INCREASE in deaths while the number of people riding motorcycles continues to decrease??

My thoughts as possible causes:
1. Less motorcycle riders means less knowledge and/or experience riding, as well as less awareness of motorcycle safety overall? It's like any common sense about motorcycles has to be learned the hard way now on a street bike that is too big for you, etc.

2. People choosing the wrong bike (see #1 above)...so I noticed the last 2 deaths in the local paper were Harleys. The very most recent was a young man 24 years old, about 125-150 lb. And his bike the he wrecked and died on was a big Harley Touring bike, it looked big and heavy.

3. Riding when tired or fatigued.

4. Intoxicated

5. People less aware of motorcycle riders (maybe since they are not as common today as they used to be).

6. Lane splitting?

7. Us vs them mentality? Is there an association with people on bikes as being a menace to society? Obnoxious? Badass loud bikers, and rice rockets cutting off cars on the freeway?

8. Road rage is also on the rise, 7% annual increase. Could some people be killing bikers out of gross negligence? Like on purpose and then pretend it wasn't?

Which makes me wonder how many of the biker deaths are the motorcyclists' fault vs car. I need to do some more studying, reading the stats.

Let's just be aware and be careful.
 

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Maybe the aging of the HD crowd?
Inexperience as you mentioned and the cell phones.
Blame it on technology! With so many new cars being advertised with active electronic safety devices; back up cameras, forward radar, auto braking, etc; maybe the cars of the future will at least be braking when they hit the motorcyclist and give softer impacts.
 

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I can remember the IIHS (Insurance Industry) report where a VStrom didn't not have a single fatality in the USA for a ten year period ending I think in 2012 (now there were not that many of them compared to some other models). Now the sport bikes which have been increasing in numbers with younger riders were death traps in the same period. I actually posted that somewhere on here three or four years ago.
 

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Like Motocanada said, with air bags and other safety features, cars are a lot safer. Also, the number of inexperienced older riders is growing, due to midlife crisis. Older riders who rode a bit when they were younger, quit to raise a family, and now the kids are grown and wife gives permission to ride again. So they havent rode in 20 or 30 yrs, have plenty of money now, and dont realize the 800lb harley is a lot different from the 350 honda they had in college.
 

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This has already been analyzed. Our local giant motorcycle dealer carries mainly sport bikes because that is what sells. My salesman says that the ratio of the supersport bikes has been increasing for as long as he can remember.

Analysis of factors accounting for increasing motorcyclist fatality rates is beyond the scope of this brief overview of motorcycle trends, but one trend of concern to public health and safety experts is the relaxation of motorcycle helmet laws.

Another emerging trend of concern to public health and safety experts is the growing popularity of racing-style motorcycles known as supersports, which have high power-to-weight ratios and are capable of extreme acceleration and speed (160+ mph). Although designed for the racetrack, supersport motorcycles are marketed and sold to the general public and have become especially popular among young riders. On September 11, 2007, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released a report showing that "motorcyclists who ride supersports have driver death rates per 10,000 registered motorcycles nearly 4 times higher than motorcyclists who ride all other types of bikes."10 The IIHS report also noted that among fatally injured motorcycle drivers, those riding supersports are the youngest, with an average age of 27. For both 2000 and 2005, the death rate for riders of supersport bikes is twice that of sport bike riders and four times that for riders of other motorcycle types.
 

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Dear SE, super sports registrations are when. Motorcycle fatalities are about the same as they ever were. Unfortunately, unlike cars there has been no decreased. Just analyzed the numbers for 20 years for both canada and the us.

There is no "growing popularity of super sports bikes" (try buying a new 600 these days). There are really outrageously powered adventure bikes however.
 

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absolute numbers have not risen continuously. Occasionally yes but not every year for the last 22 years. why they have risen as a percentage of car fatalities is because carts have become so much safer. dramatically so.
Yes, that's a typical weaselly manipulation of statistics to produce a headline or make a point.
What is the trend for motorcycle-involved deaths in absolute numbers? Per 100,000 registrations?

Riding (crashing) a motorcycle is inherently dangerous, and unlike automobiles (whose drivers certainly haven't gotten any better over the years, as far as I can tell), there is little in the way of passive safety equipment that can be applied to significantly reduce the fatality rate. Helmet laws probably help, and eliminating those laws in several states probably hasn't helped (just saying, even though I don't believe in helmet laws).
 

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I actually think there are more bikes on the road. While the percentage of motorcycles on the rode hasn't increased, that doesn't mean that the number of bikes on the road hasn't. There are WAY more cars on the road these days, so if the car/bike ratio remains the same (or even decreases), that would ultimately still equate to more bikes on the road. When I was in my late teens I can remember being able to ride or drive from one end of town to the other (about 3 miles, or 5km) without having to stop as there was only one intersection, giving you a 50/50 chance... lol. Now, to go from one end to the other requires navigating at least 12 intersections! More intersections are necessary due to the increased vehicle traffic. Not to mention that many of these riders are mid-life crisis dudes with too much disposable income.

Now... mobile phones have already been mentioned, but it's more than that. Distracted driving is huge compared to what it was when I started driving 40 years ago. Back then I shoved a cassette into a slot and didn't touch it for 30 minutes. Now, everything is touch-screen this & that and we are constantly looking where we are not supposed to be.

Back then (in my area) kids grew up on farms, we all had mini-bikes, and learned to drive as soon as we could see over the dash. Now kids grow up in condo's and come of age with far fewer life-skills that we had and often take for granted.

Road rage also is a phenomenon that didn't really exist when I was a kid, which speaks to a whole new attitude on the road (which wasn't really there before). I actually don't remember hearing the term much more than 15 - 20 years ago.

Of course, I'm just spit-balling, but it would be interesting to quantify these theories.
 

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Interesting discussion for sure. Most people nowadays seem to have little regard for those around them. But that is more than likely just my own view of the world.

I see a lot more Harleys in my area than anything else and most of them are not wearing any PPE (no helmets, no jackets, literally jeans and a tank top on a road king) and I am 100% sure that contributes as well. But there are also the kiddos on bikes WAY WAY too powerful for the skillset. I mean I am one to talk since I had a VTR1000 from 25-29 (though I had an XT250 for a year before and took a MRTC course but that didnt prep me for triple digit manuvering) and I am LUCKY I did not die on that bike honestly.

The world is a changin is about the best words I have found to describe it. If you're active and situationally aware on a motorcycle than there is not as much risk. I still see and predict cars movements and when I KNOW for a fact they dont see me I move and when they do exactly as I predicted I react but had it already planned out. Happend mast week where a lady made a 3 lane change then was about to get in the HOV and I knew she didnt see me so I slowed and as she moved over I cleared her bumper. If I had been as discracted as her I would be a smear on the road. But when you pay attention it saves your life.

We can blame technology and distracted driving and inexperienced riders all we want. The thing I get from all this is that I am the only one who can make sure I am safe, so pay attention, dress appropreately, and feel comfortable on the platform you are on enough to manuver out of things that come your way.

Just my .02 without any documentation or sources to cite.
 

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This raises a lot of questions.
By year for the last 20 years I would like to see:

Age of riders
size of bike
brand of bike
years of experience
Alcohol or drug impairment
Cause of accident. Rider or other vehicle
I'd be looking for a trend. Separating accident from injury, We know ATGATT riders will suffer less than the average "Harley" riders.
AMA just funded another report (like the Hurt report) That might tell us something.
 

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Violent video games and Rap music?

Ok .. that is usually the go to answer but I have some thoughts.

Been riding for 40 yrs. The move to large daily drivers is a bane on my existence. Used to be that I could sit on my bike and see over all the cars ahead clear to the traffic light. Then came " you know I had to get this GIANT SUV because it makes my wife and kids safer and it seems I hardly see a regular ol car any more.

Not only cant I see ahead as far as I used to but people cant see me. Luckily with time and age comes experience so when I am approaching an intersection that has a left turn possible in front of me I go all the way to the left part of the lane to present myself to oncoming drivers who are considering the turn because I have watched them wait until the big SUV passes and then bust their move not realizing there might be a smaller vehicle behind it.

Tech and car use .. Ugh .. I was at a light and the kid behind me already had his phone out while he was coming to a stop and I swear he stopped 3 ft from my back tire. I am usually anti any damn new laws but I look forward to them attacking tech use like they did seatbelt laws and start to make that little habit obsolete.

Many bikes are much much faster and with a much smaller field of view than they were even 20 yrs ago. I am no curmudgeon that thinks they shouldnt be sold but if we are talking fatalities you have to figure in a 19 year old on a bike that can go 200 miles an hour and its not hard math. I was 19 .. I would have done insane stuff.

Just a general "its about me" attitude I just don't remember back in the 70's and 80's. Perhaps I was simply unaware but it seems more people are willing to hurt others to satisfy their own needs.

Whatever it is This here is the definitive solution and very well said

Shaw
The thing I get from all this is that I am the only one who can make sure I am safe, so pay attention, dress appropriately, and feel comfortable on the platform you are on enough to manuver out of things that come your way.
Sadly much of the knowledge and defensive driving comes from experience and experience comes with time.

I dont think any study will be able to pinpoint the root causes of the increase. Times change, peoples attitudes change, what is important to people in power change and technology changes. Always ride like they are trying to kill you.
 

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Yes, that's a typical weaselly manipulation of statistics to produce a headline or make a point.
What is the trend for motorcycle-involved deaths in absolute numbers? Per 100,000 registrations?

Riding (crashing) a motorcycle is inherently dangerous, and unlike automobiles (whose drivers certainly haven't gotten any better over the years, as far as I can tell), there is little in the way of passive safety equipment that can be applied to significantly reduce the fatality rate. Helmet laws probably help, and eliminating those laws in several states probably hasn't helped (just saying, even though I don't believe in helmet laws).
Numbers in a vacuum can always be twisted around.

I think the real number should be fatalities per 100,000 miles ridden (or whatever unit/baseline you want touse.)

I have no doubt there are more fatalities but without knowing how much riding is actually going on we don't know if there is actually a higher rate of fatalities. And if there are, how much is the increase?

Apart from a helmet I believe there is very little in the way of equipment a rider can wear that actually will reduce the risk of dying on a bike. Just the same I wear all my gear almost all the time. Most equipment a rider wears for protection will help with abrasions and small injuries as a result of sliding down the road. I don't think anything we put on can help much if we have a head on crash or broadside a left turning car when travelling at 60 mph/100 kph.

..Tom
 

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I dont think any study will be able to pinpoint the root causes of the increase. Times change, peoples attitudes change, what is important to people in power change and technology changes. Always ride like they are trying to kill you.
I don't have any references but seem to recall many US states repealing helmet laws and fatalities in those states jumped dramatically. I don't necessarily support helmet laws but do feel riders should wear helmets.

..Tom
 

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Apart from a helmet I believe there is very little in the way of equipment a rider can wear that actually will reduce the risk of dying on a bike. Just the same I wear all my gear almost all the time. Most equipment a rider wears for protection will help with abrasions and small injuries as a result of sliding down the road. I don't think anything we put on can help much if we have a head on crash or broadside a left turning car when travelling at 60 mph/100 kph.

..Tom
I agree. I wear gear (most of the gear most of the time, sorry not ATGATT) to help protect against unpleasant injuries if I should go down. Broken bones, road rash, that sort of thing. A back protector or airbag vest might help protect against potentially deadly injuries (although a recent study out of Europe decided that airbags were not effective in preventing death), or at least against possibly disabling paralyzing injuries. Never mind 60 mph, if you slam into something squarely at even 30 mph the chances of death or serious injury are pretty high, and I'm not convinced any gear can protect against it.
 

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I don't have any references but seem to recall many US states repealing helmet laws and fatalities in those states jumped dramatically. I don't necessarily support helmet laws but do feel riders should wear helmets.

..Tom
I agree ... Arizona does not have a helmet law .. kind of love Arizona for that.

However .. I choose to wear a helmet. It really doesn't take that much of a jostle of the brain to render you dead and if not dead, wishing you were.

Just seeing some of our vets who suffered traumatic brain injury should make everyone rush out and get one but .. I hate government mandates.

Informally .. I notice people wear a helmet or not depending on whether it fits the bike image they are trying to project and not whether they will stand a better chance of not drinking with a dribble glass.

So the cruiser guys never have one and the racer X guys always have them. I don't think trying to convince anyone that it is indeed not a fashion accessory, though it could be, would be difficult.

I have no fear of death .. but living while I drool on myself and my wife wipes my arse is not an appealing end to a fairly good life.
 
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