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Old 11-28-2012, 09:57 PM   #1
Frostback OP
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A little science on motorcyclists hitting animals (mostly deer)

Hi Folks:

I came across an analysis of motorcyclist collisions with deer conducted in North Dakota and published this year in Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, Vol 23. I am copying the citation and abstract below which I think I can do without copyright infringement. Give it a read. It makes some sense. Mostly deer, mostly at night, higher fatality rate than other types of crashes. Here is the shocker though - Median age of operator was 44 for animal collisions and 30 for non-animal collision wrecks; a highly significant result. Looks like the young turks are cracking up elsewhere and the old guys are out night riding and smacking deer, or at least avoiding more daytime wrecks. Not sure how to interpret that. Of course, helmets were a big player too.

Be careful out there. The rut is in full swing and vehicle/deer strike totals for Oct-Dec exceed the remainder of the year combined. Of course, it is -15 with 8 inches of snow here so I'll not hit one with my bike!

Lee

BRIEF REPORT
Animal-Related Motorcycle Collisions in North Dakota
Patricia S. Bramati, MD; Lynn F. Heinert; Lindsey B. Narloch, MS; Jeff Hostetter, MD;
Javier D. Finkielman, MD
From the University of North Dakota, Center for Family Medicine, Bismarck, ND (Drs Bramati and Hostetter); Traffic Records, North
Dakota Department of Transportation, Safety Division, Bismarck, ND (Ms Heinert); Emergency Medical Services and Trauma, North Dakota
Department of Health, Bismarck, ND (Ms Narloch); and the Intensive Care Unit, Saint Alexius Medical Center, Bismarck, ND (Dr
Finkielman).

Objective.—To study the epidemiology and mortality of animal-motorcycle collisions.

Methods.—A retrospective study of all motorcycle collisions recorded in the North Dakota Department
of Transportation Crash Reporting System from January 2007 to December 2009 was conducted.
Mortality was designated as the main outcome measure.

Results.—Seven hundred sixty-six collisions involving 798 motorcycles were included in this study;
48 of these collisions were with animals (6.3% of all motorcycle collisions). Deer were the most
common animal involved (81%). Most animal-motorcycle collisions took place during nighttime with
clear weather and on straight rural roads. Drivers were older in animal collisions compared with
nonanimal collisions (median of 44 vs 30 years old, respectively, P  .0001). Most drivers were males,
whereas most passengers were females. Helmets were worn by only 32% of drivers and 12% of
passengers. There were 4 (8%; 95% CI, 3%–20%) fatal animal collisions; 9% of the collisions with
large animals were fatal compared with 3% of nonanimal collisions (P  .0411).

Conclusions.—Animal-motorcycle collisions are a small subgroup of all motorcycle collisions, but
with a high mortality rate. Efforts should be made to increase helmet usage, mitigate these collisions,
and increase awareness of this problem among motorcycle riders.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:57 PM   #2
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You'd think it would be the young bloke's that collide with anything at night. Not surprised at taking place after dark, even less surprising, at night and not wearing a helmet.
The age group involved in fatal accident's here, is similiar, over 40, DUI, single vehicle crash, 500-1000cc motorcycle.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:11 AM   #3
jules083
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostback View Post
The rut is in full swing and vehicle/deer strike totals for Oct-Dec exceed the remainder of the year combined.
Yep. I rarely even ride this time of year, and never at night. Maybe a trip in town or something, but not long days like normal. Come about Feburary or so I'll start riding more again, weather permitting.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:45 AM   #4
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This is what blows me away about the study:

----> Helmets were worn by only 32% of drivers and 12% of passengers.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wb57 View Post
This is what blows me away about the study:

----> Helmets were worn by only 32% of drivers and 12% of passengers.

I agree, part of me always finds it shocking that so few people wear helmets in states where they don't have to.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wb57 View Post
This is what blows me away about the study:

----> Helmets were worn by only 32% of drivers and 12% of passengers.
Why would anyone want to ride without a helmet anyway, the wind howling like crazy, bug's of all sorts hitting your face at 100mph, i've had numerous bird's hitting my helmet with great force, what about when it rains, must be uncomfortable!
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wb57 View Post
This is what blows me away about the study:

----> Helmets were worn by only 32% of drivers and 12% of passengers.
natural de-selection
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wb57 View Post
This is what blows me away about the study:

----> Helmets were worn by only 32% of drivers and 12% of passengers.
I'm surprised it is that high. I doubt even 10% of the other riders I see have helmets on, and maybe 1% have additional gear.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:48 AM   #9
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Kangaroo's - which admitted not many of you will get to hit.

I decided on a 'best chance of surviving' strategy a few years ago, I'd had quite a few roos run into the side of me with only bruises and the damned things are unavoidable around here.

Pre-planned strategy.

1) Aim for where I want the bike to be after the crash i.e. don't try and avoid the bastard, just aim for a point where I'm not going to do secondary damage after the impact.
2) Brake like crazy until just before the impact.
3) Be damned sure the brakes aren't on at impact.

It happened, collected a roo head on , the strategy worked. (Week old bike as well)

Big thud, bike got launched but I ended up still in my lane further up the road when I landed it again.
(Hey I'm upright. O.K. heart, you can start beating again now)
Used the rear brake to slow the bike since I assumed front end damage.

Parked, looked at the bike, big splashes of mud and hair all over the right side, hair in the right brake rotor and over the bash plate, blood on the lower suspension knuckle.
The gods have been kind, may as well finish my ride. Rode fairly gently for the next ten minutes in case there was damage, after that - no worries.

I'm guessing impact speed was <40kph, but with the shock, who knows.

So, all I can say is "Worked for me, your mileage may vary". Yes there was luck, but I suspect that's near optimal - statistically

Pete
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:29 AM   #10
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I came really close to hitting one about a year ago (deer). It was sheer luck that I didn't, and I was close enough to hear his hooves on the pavement, over the KLR and through my helmet.

It was in town, a bit earlier in the fall, and early in the am (pre-sunrise). Luckily he literally jumped out of nowhere and my non-reaction probably saved me from over reacting.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterW View Post
Kangaroo's - which admitted not many of you will get to hit.

I decided on a 'best chance of surviving' strategy a few years ago, I'd had quite a few roos run into the side of me with only bruises and the damned things are unavoidable around here.

Pre-planned strategy.

1) Aim for where I want the bike to be after the crash i.e. don't try and avoid the bastard, just aim for a point where I'm not going to do secondary damage after the impact.
2) Brake like crazy until just before the impact.
3) Be damned sure the brakes aren't on at impact.

It happened, collected a roo head on , the strategy worked. (Week old bike as well)

Big thud, bike got launched but I ended up still in my lane further up the road when I landed it again.
(Hey I'm upright. O.K. heart, you can start beating again now)
Used the rear brake to slow the bike since I assumed front end damage.

Parked, looked at the bike, big splashes of mud and hair all over the right side, hair in the right brake rotor and over the bash plate, blood on the lower suspension knuckle.
The gods have been kind, may as well finish my ride. Rode fairly gently for the next ten minutes in case there was damage, after that - no worries.

I'm guessing impact speed was <40kph, but with the shock, who knows.

So, all I can say is "Worked for me, your mileage may vary". Yes there was luck, but I suspect that's near optimal - statistically

Pete
Few year's back i met a bloke in Canberra that had a similar incident to yours. He told me he was on Tharwa rd, and according to him, as the road straightened out, he was going for 200, when a roo jumped in front of him and he hit it straight on, he wasn't sure of the speed he was doing, flat out anyway. He thought he was done for. The impact was hard enough to bend the forks, he never dropped the bike though. I used to ride in the area and the roos there are in plague proportions. Never hit one while on a bike, or a car for that matter, came close plenty of times. I'd rather collide with a roo than a wombat, that's like hitting a rock!
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterW View Post
I decided on a 'best chance of surviving' strategy a few years ago
This is key, think about how things are likely to unfold and how you plan to act (vs. react). Deer, 'roos, etc. aren't gonna run you down from behind, nor are they likely to come strolling down the center of the lane. Consider the probable scenarios and come up with some preplanned strategies. No guarantee of success, but it sure does increase your chances.

Rule number one (for me): Where there is one deer, there is likely another following it, so look behind the one you see, not at it.

Rule number two: If you're really close to hitting a running animal, aim for it's ass, it will probably not be there by the time you reach it.

And like PeterW said, get off the brakes right before impact, you may be able to steer around it at the last instant, but not if you're braking hard.

YMMV, but this is my plan.
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:25 PM   #13
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What's really shocking is all those operators are allowing their pax to ride around with no damn helmet on.
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinbanditrider View Post
What's really shocking is all those operators are allowing their pax to ride around with no damn helmet on.
Before we had helmet laws here in California, if I picked up a passenger who didn't have a helmet I would have them wear mine. I figured I had the bars to hang on to, but they might fall off. It also kept my riding to a nice slow pace with a passenger.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:20 PM   #15
ray h
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Deer have always been my worst fear while riding, I feel I'm pretty good at predicting what most people will do and in those situations where I may not predict well, I usually leave myself room to get away from them. Deer, on the other hand, just seem to show up out of nowhere. Sure you can try to avoid riding during rut and other peak times but not always, and even then there is still risk.
I guess I'm seriously at risk being in my 40s, riding mostly on rural roads, riding a motorcycle between 500-1000cc, riding year round usually at dawn and again at dusk. No wonder they worry me so much.
I do wear a helmet, that should reduce my chances of dieing.
Maybe I'll just stay out of North Dakota.
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