NHTSA Report on Motorcycle Safety (2016) and Helmets (2017)

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by AdamChandler, May 3, 2018.

  1. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b

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    I'm picking out a few key points that stood out:

    #1
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  2. Deviant

    Deviant aka KTM 1290SAdvR

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    So most accidents happen when and where people ride the most, helmets save lives, and speed contributes to fatalities?

    Well... No shit.
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  3. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    Actually the take away is that if one isn't speeding, one might not have crashed at all.

    That and don't drink at all and ride a motorcycle. Most likely the alcohol leads to dumb decisions, like excessive speeds and not wearing ones helmet.
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  4. Bar None

    Bar None Old School Dude

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    ^^^^
    You forgot "Of those, 1,259 (25%) were alcohol-impaired (BAC of .08 g/dL or higher). In addition, there were 355 (7%) fatally injured motorcycle riders who had lower alcohol levels (BACs of .01 to .07 g/dL)."
    #4
  5. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b

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    An MSF Coach told me that Weekend only Cruiser types who never work on their skills, only ride when it's 75 and sunny and forgo gear and a helmet to hit the bar with their buddies contribute to a great deal of the statistics.

    High-Viz Guys who go to training, ride most of the year and don't drink and ride tend to live a pretty full and happy life (statistically speaking). Accidents still happen. In fact, my neighbor hops on his Road Glide at most 10 times a year in a tank top and peels off to the bar to throw back a few. I wish he'd at least wear a leather jacket and brain bucket but nope. he hates his skin if he ever did crash.


    Reaction time too, right? People pull out in front of me at least once a week. No amount of LEDs and high-viz will keep them from doing that but being aware and not locking up the wheels requires reaction time and booze definitely affects that! ...and to another degree, speed. If you're going 60 in a 30, you have to react twice as fast.
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  6. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    Pretty sure:

    Covers that
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  7. c_m_shooter

    c_m_shooter Ninja Warrior

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    What I gathered is that it is safest to ride in the rain.
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  8. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    With a helmet and no alcohol
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  9. fastring

    fastring Been here awhile

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    Common sense stuff: get some minimal training such as required for the license, wear at least a helmet, and dont drink and ride...
    #9
  10. falcofred

    falcofred aka Beer Scout

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    The problem with Common Sense is that it is not commonly found. They should have named it 'Rare Sense'
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  11. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Ooh, ooh! Call on me, call on me :y0!

    Think about it... :hmmmmm

    If speed was truly the big danger factor in accidents, why were there so few deaths on the highway? :scratch

    Couldn't be because it isn't that speed is the factor, but rather it is failure to control, now could it? :doh
    #11
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  12. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    Spot on. Speed of itself is not the issue. It's an easy lazy statistic used to justify revenue raising. The real problem is riders travelling faster than their ability. And who ever reports that key statistic, one that would be truly informative, never. Oh, its all to hard I can hear them saying, so we just produce a simplistic 'speeding' as the cause.

    And just how do they determine the rider was 'speeding'. I looked this up once. In Australia, if there is no other obvious cause for the crash, speeding is assumed and assigned as the cause of the single vehicle accident. That's right, an L plate rider crashes while trying to crawl around a corner, and 'speeding' is assigned as the cause of the accident.

    There is a fantastic motorcycle road in Australia that has seen a dramatic increase in the number of motorcycle crashes in recent years, according to Government reports. Duh! because they sealed the previous dirt road. The natural response from 'authorities' was to call for lowering the 100 kph speed limit. You'd have to lower it to 30 kph (and then be able to enforce it in this remote location) to stop riders crashing in this 100 kilometers of tight bends. It was the first time I'd every seen a policemen (the local Sgt) say rider skill was the problem, not the speed limit. I can only assume he was a keen knowledgeable motorcycle rider himself.
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  13. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    If you knew what percentage of the time riders were typically speeding, the 33% would mean something. If riders were typically speeding 40% of the time then it could be argued that you were LESS likely to die in a fatal crash while speeding. Using that logic to imply that riding faster is safer may NOT be valid ...but than again, in certain circumstances, it might.

    The helmet and booze things are obvious, nothing new and pretty much impossible to argue against (anti-helmet crowd are akin to flat-earthers when they say anything except "I prefer to ride without one" IMO)
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  14. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    BUT ..... who is safer? A unskilled rider likely to crash in a corner and do less injury because they are traveling a little slower than otherwise when they crash. Or a highly skilled rider who goes effortlessly around the same corner at twice the speed (with margin to burn) without incident. It's the likelihood of crashing that is the primary problem. And speed of itself isn't the cause. It's skill level for the speed the rider is travelling at.

    And this isn't just 'theory'. I used to ride with 3 ride groups that overall could be classified as three different skill levels, and kept a different pace. It wasn't the fast most skilled group who had the crashes and injuries. It was the slowest group, every ride someone would total a bike.

    Academics can produce all the analysis of motorcycle crash 'causes' they want, based upon things that are easily identifiable. But unless they can capture what is by far the greatest cause of motorcycle accidents i.e. SKILL, it all seems largely pointless to me. Not only pointless, but actually misleading.
    #14
  15. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    Your commentary is valid but only addresses the speed aspect. While it would seem likely that there is a correlation between use of helmets and skill (based upon those people who care to acquire riding skill also caring to ride safer in other ways) and a negative correlation between alcohol consumption and skill (for the same reason), speed does not succumb to the same analysis, for the reasons you indicated AND the reasons I indicated ...and probably others.

    Looking at it another way, lack of skill, drinking and riding, and failure to use helmets are inter-related factors. When one increases, so do the others. Therefore it really doesn't matter which one of those is the primary cause of increased crashes (or whether ANY of them are the primary cause.) They are all indicators of an increased risk of crashing and dying.

    Speed on the other hand is not so clearly linked to other risk factors as increased skill can easily offset increased risk-taking for example.
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  16. st3ryder

    st3ryder Been here awhile

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    Speeding eh? hmmm...wonder why? Maybe because that's what the industry sells? Too much confidence placed in "safety" technologies? Too much HP?

    Motorcycling is all about speeding, always has been, but now more than ever, so how could anyone doubt it's an issue, in and of itself. Speeding motorcyclists are the product of the culture of "safety" technolgy and insane levels of HP courtesy of the industry itself. Insane HP and "safety" technologies: The "tar and nicotine" of the motorcycle industry.
    #16
  17. CDRW

    CDRW Been here awhile

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    ...the hell are you smoking? Lack of safety features never stopped squidding.
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  18. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    I think what's being overlooked is speed relative to posted limits, in urban areas NOT highways.
    If a dumb ass is doing oh say 70, in a 35 zone and gets killed by someone turning left across their path, or entering the roadway with a small pause at the stop sign. That speed difference is more of a problem than speed on a highway.


    Try it yourself...

    Same road
    Same time of day
    Same relative traffic density

    Go the posted limit, note number of potential traffic conflicts

    Now do it on another day....

    Same time same direction at 2.5 times posted limit, slightly drunk with no helmet. Let me know if you live, OK?
    #18
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  19. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    Considering that most motorcycles sold in the USA since the 1950's could fairly easily surpass every speed limit in the country, I hardly think you could say that speeding is a recent phenomenon related to increasing motorcycle performance. Spectacular and newsworthy crashes notwithstanding, I am not aware of any hard or anecdotal evidence to suggest that habitual speeders are more likely to crash their motorcycles, nor that higher speeds necessarily means increased fatalities (it certainly means you are more likely to die IF you crash of course.) I would hesitate to state that someone who habitually rides at, say, 10-over is any more or less likely to die than someone who habitually rides at, say, 5-over (or 5-under for that matter.)
    #19
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  20. Paul124ac

    Paul124ac Long timer

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    Nailed it. I've had it explained a few times to me by different members of the constabulary that when filling out a crash report speed will always be a factor, even if that crash (I refuse to use the term "accident") is a kiddie run over in a driveway. If the vehicle was travelling slower then it would've missed the kid. If the rider was travelling less than the posted speed then they would've made the corner. If the drunk was travelling slower when they were on the wrong side of the line then the motorcyclist travelling the other way would have time to avoid.

    It skews the data, and justifies more devices to catch the "reckless". Meanwhile poorly trained youth and poorly assessed aged and immigrant drivers are roaming free. And don't take that wrongly, I have belonged to 2 and am heading to a 3rd of those groups but luckily I am also a motorcyclist, and that teaches you more in a minute about being safe than a lifetime of disconnected commuting in a car.
    #20
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