A little science on motorcyclists hitting animals (mostly deer)

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Frostback, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. Frostback

    Frostback Frostback

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    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.
    #1
  2. Aussijussi

    Aussijussi Long timer

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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.
    #2
  3. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

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    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.
    #3
  4. wb57

    wb57 Long timer

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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.
    #4
  5. Bucho

    Bucho Long timer

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    I agree, part of me always finds it shocking that so few people wear helmets in states where they don't have to.
    #5
  6. Downs

    Downs KK6RBI

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    What's really shocking is all those operators are allowing their pax to ride around with no damn helmet on.
    #6
  7. ray h

    ray h Been here awhile

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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.
    #7
  8. Aussijussi

    Aussijussi Long timer

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    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!
    #8
  9. Aussijussi

    Aussijussi Long timer

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    I draw the line when it comes to night time riding, i just won't do it. With the motorcycle lights being what they are, the risk of not seeing rubbish, sand, pothole's, variety of wildlife, it's too great.
    #9
  10. Steelybeast

    Steelybeast Been here awhile

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    I try to avoid riding in the dark all I can, but since I leave for work around 5:45AM, no way to avoid it when I decide to ride. In just the past 3 weeks, I have had to swerve to miss five deer while going to work. I was in the cage those times, yet came closer to taking out one of those forest rats about two years ago. I was on the Versys and in the middle of the rut. I seen a doe cross about 100 feet in front of me and I was watching from where she came from, on the right.

    All those years of deer hunting puts you on alert when you see this as just know, there is a big ole' buck right behind her. About the time I got to where she crossed the road, I look to the right and there was a big ole 8 pointer, hitting the brakes, just about the time he was going to cross the fog line, directly into me. We was hunkered down, trying to stop before he went into the road, or aka, directly into the side me. It all happened in a flash, but I can still see those big antlers about two feet from my right side as we passed. I am glad he stopped when he did as would not have ended well.
    #10
  11. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    I do.

    The younger riders are generally riding shorter distances and in daylight hours, such as to work and to school.

    Older riders are more likely to be on longer rides that have them out after dark.

    I can assure you that it has nothing to do with 30 year olds swerving to avoid deer collisions. It just shows that 30 year olds are not out there in places where deer collisions occur.
    #11
  12. ray h

    ray h Been here awhile

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    I think there are probably a number of variables that play into that statistic. You may be right that younger riders are not out riding after dark or up before light as much as the older folks. I would think that eyesight and reflexes also play a part in it. Being a few years past my prime, I can honestly say that I don't see as well at night as I used to. It takes me a little longer to figure out what I'm looking at so I can't react quite as fast. I don't know if that played into the statistics or even if anyone else has noticed these things but I can say that if I hit a deer at night, it will probably be a factor.
    #12
  13. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    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. :D
    #13
  14. Downs

    Downs KK6RBI

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    No helmet no ridey. At least on my bike.
    #14
  15. gbmaz

    gbmaz Power Newb

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    That is a good philosophy for sex with strangers. ATGATT, not just for riding bikes.
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  16. milleralexk

    milleralexk Adventurer

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    How many of you ATTGATT guys are really planning on picking up an unexpected passenger who needs a helmet?
    #16
  17. abnslr

    abnslr rides a motorcycle

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    natural de-selection
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  18. Downs

    Downs KK6RBI

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    :rofl:rofl:rofl


    It's happened. Just not very often and by the looks of the girl I was glad I didn't have a helmet with me :1drink
    #18
  19. little foot

    little foot Scratch and Sniff

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    :photog
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  20. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    I was riding near dusk and a car was coming the other way. The lights of the car appeared to blink. I got on the brakes HARD as a deer carcass slid across maybe 50 feet in front of me. I missed it easily. I never saw the deer before it hit the car. The lights blinking thing had happened before, it must have lodged in my subconscious. That time also had a favorable outcome.. This time taking action could have saved me, we never know what would happen, only what did happen. I was pretty close.

    Rod
    #20