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When any 20 year old idiot with $8000 or good credit can buy a bike with 120 hp that goes 150mph what could possibly go wrong? I see them on the Baltimore Beltway (at night) blasting along in groups.
 

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When any 20 year old idiot with $8000 or good credit can buy a bike with 120 hp that goes 150mph what could possibly go wrong? I see them on the Baltimore Beltway (at night) blasting along in groups.
And yet last I heard the largest group of fatalities in riding were middle age and older men.

..Tom
 

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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/2018/07/03/motorcycle-involved-deaths-have-been-on-the-rise-for-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.
Whoever wrote that story flunked statistics.

Percentages alone tells you nothing.

If last year 100 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents, and 10 of those were motorcycles, motorcycle deaths were 10%.

If this year 80 people are killed, and 10 are on motorcycles, motorcycle deaths rose to 12.5%. The number of deaths did not increase. The percentage did.

Deaths in cars likely dropped as airbags became more widely used, things like side bags, curtain bags, etc.

Maybe sheer numbers went up too, but you can't judge that by percentages alone.

I think there is some truth to the overall average age of riders going up, and at age 62 I hate to admit it but my skills are going down while my fragility is going up!
 

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Damn the internet can be frustrating, Guys none of the reasons you posit are the reason for deaths. They might be what pisses you off. But they are not the real reason.

According to the Canada Safety Council, for instance, mandatory motorcycle training can reduce rider fatalities by as much as 46 per cent. Motorcycles with ABS are 37 per cent less likely to be in a fatal collision than those without. Indeed, I wrote my engineering thesis on the potential benefits (at the time, no bikes were so-equipped) of anti-lock brakes for motorcycles and came to the conclusion that ABS would be the single most effective safety technology for motorcycles. I guess not much has changed in 37 years.

And what about a quick word, Liz, on the fact alcohol has an even greater effect on motorcyclists than car drivers — that whole “walk in a straight line” balance thing — and so reduces a rider’s “care and control” at comparatively minuscule blood/alcohol levels. In Ontario, for instance, 25 per cent of all motorcycle deaths — roughly twice the level compared with car drivers — had alcohol as a contributing factor. Conversely, countering the common public perception of all motorcycles as “rice rockets,” speed was a contributing factor in only 12 per cent of deaths.

And, Liz, if you really wanted to dole out some sage advice, you might have mentioned that riders should be especially careful after they buy a new bike, the world famous Hurt report concluding that 50 per cent of all motorcycle accidents involve riders who have been on their bikes for less than five months. That’s not people who have been riding for only five months, but anyone, even experienced riders, who’ve had their current steed less than half a year. Familiarity, at least when it comes to two-wheelers, breeds anything but contempt.
 

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I think there is some truth to the overall average age of riders going up, and at age 62 I hate to admit it but my skills are going down while my fragility is going up!
Admittedly, we older riders are not as sharp physically as we once were, but I think the bigger problem is with older returning riders, not those who have been riding continuosly. For those of us who have been riding continuosly, experience is a large factor in keeping our accident rate down, but those older riders who just got back into the sport after 20 or 30 yrs are surprised by the additional power and weight of the new bikes. The 350 Honda they rode in their 20s as young college kids is a moped compared to their brand new Concourse or FJR.
 

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Admittedly, we older riders are not as sharp physically as we once were, but I think the bigger problem is with older returning riders, not those who have been riding continuosly. For those of us who have been riding continuosly, experience is a large factor in keeping our accident rate down, but those older riders who just got back into the sport after 20 or 30 yrs are surprised by the additional power and weight of the new bikes. The 350 Honda they rode in their 20s as young college kids is a moped compared to their brand new Concourse or FJR.
I couldn't agree more. I may or may not have the reflexes that I did when I was 23 but it is more than made up for in 40 yrs of street riding and awareness. I call it my motorcycle antenna. I can just kind of sense when stupid is coming. I know to "present" myself to traffic. I haven't been in so much as a fender bender in car truck or bike in over 30 years.

When it comes time to depend on my lightening quick reflexes riding on the city streets .... I probably already messed up somewhere else.

BUT

Man oh man .. AZ seems to be a Mecca for guys turning 50ish and whose kids are just finishing college and they, flush with cash, suddenly want to get a bike because they rode one in 1978. I know some personally.

Then we have sunshine some 350 days a year and a lot of out of towners. 60 yr olds buying their first Harley and all the related accoutrements in retirement.

Its not about reflexes or failing bodies .. they just don't know what the hell they are doing same as the 21 yr old who buys his GSXR with a rider training course and his DMV license. That is why these two groups are so highly represented. Just simply lack of experience and not some physical prowess or lack there of.

It turns out that is how I got my GS project bike. Guy bought it because he remembered it from his youth and one time on the highway convinced him riding was a crazy man endeavor and it sat in his back yard for 3 years. He rode it twice then let it rot. Probably for the better.

As far as ABS .. I am sure its great and I guess I am happy my bike is so equipped but my first two bikes had drum brakes. I didnt die. Ride within your limits and the limits of your bike.
 

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I’m part of the “distracted drivers” opinion on why there are more deaths/accidents. Yes, there are some other factors. But I literally just got back from a 6 mile ride to and from my aunts’ house and I had 2 drivers on their phones drift into my lane. The first driver I see in my sideview swerve to avoid touching me within maybe 2 feet. I look over as he passes me and he’s got a phone up in his hand. We pull up to a stop light and I tell him he’s gotta get off his phone. He blames me for going into his lane, what a fcuking joke.
 

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“AZ seems to be a Mecca for guys turning 50ish and whose kids are just finishing college and they, flush with cash, suddenly want to get a bike because they rode one in 1978. I know some personally.”

This is just the national demographics I believe. I see dudes on Harley’s in shorts and flip flops all the time here in Florida.
Can you imagine riding in flip flops?
 

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Can you imagine riding in flip flops?
Yup! Keeps the feet nice and cool but makes shifting difficult and putting the bike in the centerstand difficult as well.

..Tom
 

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Another

Another Harley rider, 49, dead. Tried to change lanes on the Interstate at the same time as a car, knocked off the bike, run over by a third vehicle. Arguably the rider's fault, or at least easily avoided by the rider. No idea of his experience level.
 

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We just had a weird one.

Two bikes were riding (types not indicated on news). They were on a 2 lane road that goes through an entertainment district, that has bars and restaurants. Pedestrian steps out in an area between cross walks in poor lighting. Bikes run into each other trying to avoid the pedestrian. One of the riders is dead and the pedestrian is in serious condition.
 

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We just had a weird one.

Two bikes were riding (types not indicated on news). They were on a 2 lane road that goes through an entertainment district, that has bars and restaurants. Pedestrian steps out in an area between cross walks in poor lighting. Bikes run into each other trying to avoid the pedestrian. One of the riders is dead and the pedestrian is in serious condition.
That is an odd one! Usually when I see bikes going through a bar district they are traveling low and slow .. to be seen.

Haven't been in a bar district in sometime but I am sure it hasnt changed.
 

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Discussion Starter #58 (Edited)
The motorcyclist who died in a crash Sunday morning on State Route 2 in Monroe has been identified.

Washington State Patrol troopers identified the victim as 62-year-old Terry Johnson.

https://www.kiro7.com/news/north-sound-news/1-killed-in-accident-involving-a-car-motorcycle-on-sr-2/977171915

Man arrested in vehicular homicide investigation after motorcyclist killed in Douglas County crash
https://www.denverpost.com/2019/08/19/douglas-county-colorado-motorcycle-death-arrest/

Former NFL running back Cedric Benson dies in motorcycle crash
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cedric-benson-former-nfl-running-back-killed-motorcycle-crash-2019-08-18/

Victim of Saturday motorcycle crash identified
https://www.news-sentinel.com/news/local-news/2019/08/19/victim-of-saturday-motorcycle-crash-identified/

‘He was very loved’: 32-year-old husband and father killed in I-65 motorcycle crash
https://www.al.com/news/birmingham/2019/08/he-was-very-loved-32-year-old-husband-and-father-killed-in-i-65-motorcycle-crash.html


Couple killed in Greene Co. motorcycle crash, husband remembered as well-known family counselor
https://www.post-gazette.com/local/north/2019/08/19/paul-tripoli-darla-couple-family-counselor-killed-greene-county-motorcycle-crash/stories/201908190107
 

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I think mobile phones are responsible for much of the terrible driving I see.
And many people just don't ever learn to drive with awareness of what is happening around them. In a fast moving and stress-filled world this is a recipe for disaster.
A while back I happened upon a NSW (Australia) Police Honour Roll of all the officers who had died and the causes. When I did a search on "cycle" I was amazed to see how many deaths were motorcycle related.
This has improved dramatically since 1998 - I'm not sure, but I think there was a policy change that police bikes don't go out in rain or at night. Maybe training improved?

Search for "nsw police honour roll" to check out the listing.
 

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Here's some facts:

Let's look at fatal car accidents...in two years 2015 and 2016 alone FATAL car accidents grew by 13%.
Even though TOTAL car crashes were up less than 5% fatalities increased by 25%!

In those same two years motorcycle fatalities actually went down.

55% of motorcycle accidents that resulted in a fatality occurred with other vehicles involved and 45% occurred where only the motorcycle was involved. Motorcyclists over the age of 50 made up 25% of the fatalities and those under 30 years of age made up another 25%. Average age of motorcyclist fatalities was 39. 25% of motorcyclists who died were alcohol impaired which is about the same for those killed in car accidents. Had helmets been worn it would have saved 800 motorcyclist's lives and reduced the number who died by 18%. It's estimated that more than 1800 more motorcyclists would have died if they hadn't worn helmets.

Source US DOT - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
 
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