Higher fuel prices cause more motorcycle accidents...

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by LoachDriver, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. LoachDriver

    LoachDriver Adventurer

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    My apologies if posting this article is inappropriate. I had just never heard anyone suggesting a link between fuel prices and motorcycle accidents. Maybe those more experienced than me (that's mostly everyone!) have heard this before.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140425_How_gas_prices_relate_to_motorcycle_fatalities.html

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    From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

    While traffic fatalities have dropped to record lows in recent years, motorcycle deaths have risen, reflecting both an increase in the number of riders and the inherent vulnerability of the vehicles.

    And researchers have found a strong relationship between gasoline prices and motorcycle fatalities: As gas prices rise, so do the number of fatalities, and falling gas prices tend to be mirrored by reduced numbers of motorcycle deaths.

    Safety experts speculate that is because higher gas prices encourage people to use fuel-efficient motorcycles instead of cars.

    "Motorcycles are the highest-risk form of driving," said John Ulczycki, vice president of strategic initiatives for the National Safety Council. "They do not follow normal trends of highway fatalities because the circumstances that lead to motorcycle fatalities are somewhat different than automobile crashes."

    In 1975, 44,525 people died in highway accidents in the United States. Of those, 3,189 were motorcyclists.
    By 2012, total highway fatalities had dropped to 33,561, while motorcycle deaths rose to 4,957.

    In Pennsylvania, motorcycle fatalities rose 43 percent between 2001 and 2013, while fatalities in other vehicles dropped 27 percent over the same period.

    With millions more cars and motorcycles on the road now than 40 years ago, the fatality rate has dropped for both types of vehicles. But the decline has been much greater for cars: a threefold drop nationwide in the fatality rate for cars, compared with a 14 percent drop for motorcycles.

    The difference, safety experts say, is that cars are much safer than they used to be, with seat belts, air bags, antilock brakes, electronic stability control, and other features.

    "With motorcycles, there's not much you can do to improve safety. They're just out there, hanging on their own," said safety researcher James Hedlund, who studies motorcycle accidents for the Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents the highway safety offices of the states.

    "The best thing you can do is wear a helmet, and helmet use has gone down over the past 30 years," Hedlund said.

    In 1975, 47 states required all motorcyclists to wear helmets, but that number has dropped to 19 now.

    New Jersey requires helmets, while Pennsylvania repealed its mandatory helmet law in 2003 and now requires helmets only for those under age 21 or licensed for less than two years, unless they have completed an approved safety course.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that helmets saved 1,617 motorcyclists' lives in 2011 and would have saved 703 additional lives if all motorcyclists wore helmets.

    Dave Moore, who owns a Honda motorcycle dealership in Lancaster and is a past president of the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Dealers Association, said distracted driving by motorists has likely contributed to motorcycle accidents.

    "We're much more invisible than a car," Moore said, "so people talking on cellphones or texting really affects us."

    An analysis by the National Safety Council showed a strong correlation between gasoline prices and motorcycle fatalities, charting the trend since 1976.

    "There is definitely a trend with new unit sales when gas prices go up," said Pete terHorst, spokesman for the American Motorcyclist Association. He said that could mean "more people and potentially more inexperienced riders" on the road.

    "I suspect we get back in our pickup trucks when prices go down," Moore said. "We do see kind of a frenzy in the dealership when gas approaches $5 a gallon."

    A report last year by Hedlund for the Governors Highway Safety Association recommended ways to reduce motorcycle fatalities:

    Increase helmet use. The U.S. Government Accountability Office concluded in 2012, after reviewing safety studies, that "laws requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets are the only strategy proven to be effective in reducing fatalities."

    Reduce drunken riding. In 2010, 29 percent of fatally injured riders had a blood alcohol concentration at or above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, the highest among all motorists.

    Reduce speeding. According to the most recent data, 35 percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were speeding, and almost half of these crashes did not involve another vehicle.

    Improve training. While all states offer training, some courses may not be provided at locations and times convenient for riders.

    Encourage all drivers to share the road. According to NHTSA, when motorcycles crash with other vehicles, the other vehicle usually violated the motorcyclist's right of way.
    #1
  2. ER70S-2

    ER70S-2 Long timer

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    The general public doesn't understand the responsibility of riding, they think "Hey, I can get 40+ mpg, I should buy a motorcycle/scooter". It doesn't work that way. Your life depends on your skills, you don't get to say "It was her fault, she was texting". It doesn't matter, you're still hurt/dead.

    New riders think "Wow, that looks like fun, I'm buying a motorcycle." They ride with their head In the clouds, "Gee this is fun." Until impact

    Front brake: "Oh, hell no; don't touch that thing, it'll kill you!!"

    We don't get in fender benders, we get in the ambulance. The laws of physics are enforced immediately. :deal

    I am 100% responsible for my safety, something completely lost in today's entitlement generation's thought process.
    #2
  3. mtnbikeboy

    mtnbikeboy Been here awhile

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    My take aways from this article.

    1. Wear a helmet! 14.2% of fatalities would not have been fatal if a helmet was worn (according to the NHSTA stats quoted)

    2. Don't drink & ride. I was stunned that almost a full 1/3 of fatalities were at or above the legal limit. :eek1

    3. Don't speed. Over 1/3 of fatalities were speeding. I would also read this as don't outride your skills.

    4. Be as visible as possible. While it didn't give a number, it states "usually" the car violated the motorcycle's ROW.

    :deal
    #3
  4. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Stuff like this is pure idiocy. What the hell did they expect?

    Increased gas prices also contribute to increased death/injury in small cars too.

    If gas prices go high enough it will contribute to increase in bicycle rider death/injury.

    There is a distinct relationship here that seems to escape some people.

    Makes me think of the research recently that showed healthy fit people drink 3.25 (regular) milk moreso than 2% or skim. What the hell did they expect after browbeating anyone and everyone who has any concern about their weight, that they should drink lower fat and skim milk? Of course they will be drinking 2% and skim instead of 3.25%, leaving those that are likely more healthy/fit to drink 3.25%.

    The gas price goes up more people start riding motorcycles and scooters to work, it is obvious that the number of accidents would go up. If more people start walking to work more pedestrians will be hurt or injured one way or another... Ooh, ooh, pulled a hammy stepping up over the curb! Duh!
    #4
  5. Rgconner

    Rgconner Long timer

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    Clearly the solution is to ban cars.
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  6. DaLunk

    DaLunk Confused and Bemused

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    They report the the accident rate for motorcycles has declined, just not as much as for cars, yet the article implies that riding is more dangerous than 40 years ago because the total number is higher. Progress portrayed as failure. :huh That same logic will lead to bad things in the search for "solutions".
    #6
  7. Newbedonnie

    Newbedonnie Banned

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    You're certainly correct...higher gas prices contribute to higher death rates. When you fight for oil...you always incur higher death rates. Not so much with the motoring populace, but rather the military. Ergo...the span between 2003 and 2009.
    #7
  8. kojack06

    kojack06 Been here awhile

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    Article didn't discuss increased aggressive and distracted driving by car drivers.
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  9. D R

    D R ----

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    How much of the decrease in auto fatalities can be attributed to the vehicle operator having switched to a motorcycle instead?
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  10. TheProphet

    TheProphet Zen Rider

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    Couldn't agree more. It's amazing to me how absolute morons assemble and present useless and misleading information that any fool will easily misinterpret. And the worst part is that they are being paid for it!:fpalm

    Clearly, the simple solution here is to lower gas prices to save lives!!! High fuel pricing kills!!!:lol3
    #10
  11. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    Correlation does not equate to causation
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  12. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

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    That's because the article was not about increased aggressiveness and distracted drivers.
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  13. TheProphet

    TheProphet Zen Rider

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    Note as well that the author continually cites various, "Studies", "Research" "Reports", etc., but provides no links, connections nor access to same.

    On the other hand... more people die in China every day, as compared to Iceland! What's going on???:lol3
    #13
  14. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Yeah, then we all can afford to run around in Hummers, not those wimpy H2s or H3s, but the real damn thing, a lane and a half wide! That or Siverado duallys! :clap



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. Wreckster

    Wreckster Been here awhile

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    Well there's some food for thought. roughly somewhere between 1/3 and 2/3 of the accidents are from said riders being idiots.

    Any statistic can be spun in the direction of the presenter, get the facts and there is usually a different picture. Though I won't argue that the gas prices are getting more newbs on bikes...
    #15
  16. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    ^^^^^ :stupid ^^^^^
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  17. Chico

    Chico Thief and Saboteur

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    Gas prices increase in summer. More motorcyclists are on the road in summer (exponentially more compared to winter). More motorcyclists on the road = more motorcyclist deaths.
    #17
  18. GlennR

    GlennR Playin' in the Fire

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    I don't see a lot to argue with about the article, it's just a bunch of stats.

    There are a lot of ways to interpret the numbers, but I'm sure most of the data overlaps.

    I found this " In 1975, 47 states required all motorcyclists to wear helmets, but that number has dropped to 19 now." surprising. Seatbelts have been forced on us, but helmets have become optional in over half the states. :huh

    There are many factors that weren't mentioned. "Speeding" is such a general term, but we all speed. 50mph in a neighborhood is much different than 90mph on an interstate. The drastic increase of the deer population wasn't mentioned, but the accidents they cause were real, counted, and factored into the data. Types & size of bikes and the skill level of the riders weren't mentioned.

    We all know riding motorcycles is risky.
    #18
  19. Telemarktumalo

    Telemarktumalo Go Red Sox!

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    It is certainly tempting to blame distracted cagers, but the numbers don't lie. We are our own worst enemy on the bike.


    Motorcyclist Deaths Decreased in 2013

    The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports that the number of motorcyclist deaths in Oregon decreased by 35 percent in 2013. Preliminary data show only 33 rider fatalities in 2013, a significant drop from 51 deaths in 2012. But while the decrease in fatalities is encouraging news, even one motorcyclist death is still too many.
    Oregon is similar to the rest of the nation in that half of its motorcyclist fatalities are single-vehicle events – crashes involving only the motorcycle. The preliminary news from ODOT confirms this: In 2013, 52 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes in Oregon were single-vehicle events. An additional 24 percent were multiple-vehicle crashes in which the motorcyclist committed the primary error.
    [​IMG]In other words, 76 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes in Oregon last year were caused by riders themselves. While this may surprise some riders, these statistics are nothing new – this trend has been consistent in Oregon for the past 20 years.
    What’s worse, most motorcycle riders believe that other drivers cause most motorcycle crashes. In a 2012 ODOT survey, 47 percent of motorcycle owners chose “Inattention/Distraction – Other Driver” as the greatest risk to motorcycle riders’ safety. Another 20 percent chose “Failure to Yield Right of Way – Other Driver.” As you can see from the chart above, the opposite is true.
    While it is important for car drivers to watch carefully for motorcyclists, the biggest safety improvements in the future will come from riders themselves. Training, awareness and skilled decision making are what Oregon motorcyclists will need to survive.
    #19
  20. Rgconner

    Rgconner Long timer

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    TL;DR version:

    Don't be stupid.
    Stupid kills.
    #20