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The hurt report is also 20-some years out of date and woefully innarcurate for modern stats.
It may be twenty years old, but on what data do you base your conclusion that it is inaccurate? The fact that the design of motorcycles and the demographic of riders has changed does not invalidate anything Hurt said. It's simply unwarranted and unsupported speculation that something MUST have changed with respect to causality of accidents. Since Hurt concluded that most motorcycle accidents are caused by car driver inattention/failure to yield right-of-way you would be better off arguing that something in design of CARS or their drivers has invalidated the Hurt report, but that would be equally spurious without data to back it up.

I didn't see anything in that list of causes that does not conform perfectly with my unscientific observations over 30+ years of riding.
 

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The biggest problem with any quoted stats I've seen regarding ages of riders is that the population isn't defined. How many bikes of what types ridden by riders of what age etc. Without that, the numbers are fairly meaningless.

That said, overall accident statistics may be accurate as long as there are no leaps of faith concerning what they mean.
 

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One thing all these statistics fail to take into consideration is how many miles are ridden by each group of riders. I think the cruiser / tourer crowd puts in more miles a day than the sports bike crowd. The sports bike crowd tends to be younger though some of us older riders still hang on to the style, and the cruiser / tourer riders tend to be older.
Seems to reason that the longer you are on the roadway the more likely you will be involved in an incident.
Glen
 

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rmw said:
The biggest problem with any quoted stats I've seen regarding ages of riders is that the population isn't defined. How many bikes of what types ridden by riders of what age etc. Without that, the numbers are fairly meaningless.
Ding, ding ... and by the way, ding! Ring the bell for rmw.

Aggregate numbers do not tell the story. They need to provide more granular cross-sectional analysis for this stuff to be more useful. Unfortunately, that means more effort at time of data collection.

At the barest of minimum I'd like to see a breakdown based on type of motorcycle and displacement. Age of rider would be nice; years of experience of rider would be better but more difficult to obtain. The best would be an indication of the rider's "stupidity quotient" (SQ) ... but I fear that would be open to subjective appraisal.

And of course I'd put FJR riders in a separate category altogether. :)
 

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MikeB said:
The hurt report is also 20-some years out of date and woefully innarcurate for modern stats.
It may be twenty years old, but on what data do you base your conclusion that it is inaccurate? The fact that the design of motorcycles and the demographic of riders has changed does not invalidate anything Hurt said. It's simply unwarranted and unsupported speculation that something MUST have changed with respect to causality of accidents. Since Hurt concluded that most motorcycle accidents are caused by car driver inattention/failure to yield right-of-way you would be better off arguing that something in design of CARS or their drivers has invalidated the Hurt report, but that would be equally spurious without data to back it up.

I didn't see anything in that list of causes that does not conform perfectly with my unscientific observations over 30+ years of riding.
The MSF instructors told us Hurt was out of date and not accurate.
That's what I base it upon.

Also if you've read Hough's books he throws cold water on the, "I didn't see you," argument.
He speculates it is laziness on the part of cagers and the assumption that, "the bike can stop in time, after all it's a small maneuverable vehicle."

When I had a cagers turn left in my path the very first words from his mouth was, "I didn't see you."
However - he was ripping a left, he knew he had no time to make the maneuver, so he just floored it and hoped for the best.
Cost him a grand to find out he was mistaken.

I did get myself a headlight modulator after that.
 

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AngryHatter said:
The MSF instructors told us Hurt was out of date and not accurate.
That's what I base it upon.
Yep. I thought it self-evident when I said it. I thought we had *all* gotten that same lecture as MSF. Guess not.
 

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[quote="AngryHatter
Also if you've read Hough's books he throws cold water on the, "I didn't see you," argument.
He speculates it is laziness on the part of cagers and the assumption that, "the bike can stop in time, after all it's a small maneuverable vehicle."

[/quote]

Just a thought on the "I didn't see you" argument. Definately nothing new but anyway, I think it's true that they DID see you, it just didn't register in your brain which turns it into them not seeing you. I don't think it's the fact that they don't see you as a threat on a bike because your smaller, or they fact that they assume your more maneuverable or whatever. It's just that bikes are such a small minority that the average drivers brain just doesn't register it.

Now here's what brought this up in my mind. I work at an airport and cross taxiways all the time. On the Fedex ramp (either me personally or a truck I've been in) have had to pull up short a couple of times due to a little Lear taxiing down the line, and I would swear I DIDN"T SEE HIM. I'm on the lookout for big Airbus' MD10's or 11's or other large cargo acft, and the Lear just doesn't register I"m guessing. Can't be that I don't consider it a danger, because I do. Laziness or in a hurry? don't think so. It just wasn't what my mind was looking for. Now after the second time I've been cognizant of the fact and force myself to look more, but that's after it's happened at least once. Same way I think with drivers, after it's happened to them they may look more closely, but there are a lot of drivers out there who I"m sure have never been in the situation where a bike has "snuck" up on them, but when it does, they'll swear they didn't see it.

Anyway, just a thought.

Sam
 

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The fact that data is old, doesn't, in and of itself, make the data invalid. The problem with the Hurt report is that it wasn't extensive enough to make valid conclusions for the entire motor cycle community. What is needed is an extensive study lasting in the neighborhood of 5 years that encompasses all the motorcycle accidents in the country. That would require the cooperation of all the state dots and all the country's traffic police. Having said that, "That probably ain't going to happen."
 

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I thought it self-evident when I said it. I thought we had *all* gotten that same lecture as MSF. Guess not.
Good guess. If your source was an MSF instructor, you should have cited that instead of presenting this penetrating insight as your own. My response, of course, would have been same: unless there is something more than an impressionistic and statistically baseless notion to counter it, the Hurt Report is still the one and only.

As for the theory by well-known behavioral scientist David Hough that cagers actually DO see us but assume we can get out of their way, I wonder if he thinks that drivers running in front of moving trains also assume the engineer will be able to brake in time. Most of the survivors, in fact, also report that they did not see the train. Mr. Hough has apparently not heard of the famous "gorilla suit" experiments at Harvard:

"Working with Christopher Chabris at Harvard University, Simons came up with another demonstration that has now become a classic, based on a videotape of a handful of people playing basketball. They played the tape to subjects and asked them to count the passes made by one of the teams.

"Around half failed to spot a woman dressed in a gorilla suit who walked slowly across the scene for nine seconds, even though this hairy interloper had passed between the players and stopped to face the camera and thump her chest.

"However, if people were simply asked to view the tape without counting the basketball passes, they noticed the gorilla easily. The effect is so striking that some of them refused to accept they were looking at the same tape and thought that it was a different version of the video, one edited to include the ape."


The point is the people distracted by other tasks can fail to notice even an obvious intrusion in their field of view. If the Hurt study is dated in any way I would suggest it is because of cagers multitasking with new toys such as iPods, cell phones, GPS etc. But even that would be wild conjecture unless there is data to support it.

And finally, what conclusions in the Hurt Report did the MSF scholars specifically rebut: that cagers turning left in front of bikes are a major cause?; that drinking and riding is a contributing factor?; that inexperience is a factor? Surely there was something specific in their criticism.

In the final analysis this isn't worth arguing about -- you can have your ideas and me mine. But it's always better to preface your thoughts with "I think" when you have no facts in hand. Or, it seems, anywhere else.
 

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rmw said:
The biggest problem with any quoted stats I've seen regarding ages of riders is that the population isn't defined. How many bikes of what types ridden by riders of what age etc. Without that, the numbers are fairly meaningless.

That said, overall accident statistics may be accurate as long as there are no leaps of faith concerning what they mean.
Then you might want to read this:

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-30/NCSA/PPT/PresMCFatsUpdate.pdf

Age. Bike size. Per million miles traveled. Its all in there. If its not in the precise form you need, check out the references and run your own numbers.

Sparc
 

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MikeB said:
I thought it self-evident when I said it. I thought we had *all* gotten that same lecture as MSF. Guess not.
Good guess. If your source was an MSF instructor, you should have cited that instead of presenting this penetrating insight as your own. My response, of course, would have been same: unless there is something more than an impressionistic and statistically baseless notion to counter it, the Hurt Report is still the one and only.

As for the theory by well-known behavioral scientist David Hough that cagers actually DO see us but assume we can get out of their way, I wonder if he thinks that drivers running in front of moving trains also assume the engineer will be able to brake in time. Most of the survivors, in fact, also report that they did not see the train. Mr. Hough has apparently not heard of the famous "gorilla suit" experiments at Harvard:

"Working with Christopher Chabris at Harvard University, Simons came up with another demonstration that has now become a classic, based on a videotape of a handful of people playing basketball. They played the tape to subjects and asked them to count the passes made by one of the teams.

"Around half failed to spot a woman dressed in a gorilla suit who walked slowly across the scene for nine seconds, even though this hairy interloper had passed between the players and stopped to face the camera and thump her chest.

"However, if people were simply asked to view the tape without counting the basketball passes, they noticed the gorilla easily. The effect is so striking that some of them refused to accept they were looking at the same tape and thought that it was a different version of the video, one edited to include the ape."


The point is the people distracted by other tasks can fail to notice even an obvious intrusion in their field of view. If the Hurt study is dated in any way I would suggest it is because of cagers multitasking with new toys such as iPods, cell phones, GPS etc. But even that would be wild conjecture unless there is data to support it.

And finally, what conclusions in the Hurt Report did the MSF scholars specifically rebut: that cagers turning left in front of bikes are a major cause?; that drinking and riding is a contributing factor?; that inexperience is a factor? Surely there was something specific in their criticism.

In the final analysis this isn't worth arguing about -- you can have your ideas and me mine. But it's always better to preface your thoughts with "I think" when you have no facts in hand. Or, it seems, anywhere else.
Hurt was valid when written, but many factors taken into consideration at the time have changed since then.

Far more people on the roads
Many more bikes on the road

Technology in the individual vehicles has also changed by leaps and bounds.
An airbag?
An airbag on a bike?
Far more horsepower available to riders today - in 1981 a big bike was an 1000 cc machine.

Mirrors on cars are now convex to a small degree - allowing for fewer and smaller blindspots.

The Hurt report is a good starting point, but not the be all end all...at least, not anymore.
 

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The first thing I did when I started riding again after a 20 yr absence was take the "Advanced Rider Coarse" on my Spirit 750. The instructor told us that our (50's) age group had the highest accident rate. I did find it hard to believe, but found-out it beeing true. I think most older riders think because they once rode many years in the past that they can just jump on a big cruiser and ride. "I still have my motorcycle endorcement on my lisence so I'm good to go" Big mistake guys. Our American Legion Riders Ride Director is a Certified riding instructor and I've talked to him quit a bit on this subject and was surprised at what he told me.
 

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Sparc said:
Then you might want to read this:

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-30/NCSA/PPT/PresMCFatsUpdate.pdf

Age. Bike size. Per million miles traveled. Its all in there. If its not in the precise form you need, check out the references and run your own numbers.
I pored through the PDF as well as some of the references listed at the end. If someone is looking for definitive comfort that "it's not me, it's the other group" ... well, they won't find that comfort. The distribution of fatalities is sufficiently spread across all age and bike size parameters.

There are numbers to suggest helmet usage does have a positive effect. But the numbers are not there to suggest helmet usage prevents fatalities in all cases. Some, yes; all, no.

Alcohol usage is a significant factor: "Forty percent of fatally injured operators tested positive for alcohol, and 32 percent had a BAC of 0.08 or higher." Why anyone would climb on a bike with a 0.08 BAC is beyond me. But then again, why anyone would climb on a bike with even a beer or two in them is beyond me.

This statistic was interesting: "Almost half (about 46 percent) of fatal motorcycle crashes are single vehicle." We can't blame the "cager" on those.

"Two-thirds of the riders killed on 1,001-1,500 cc engine size were 40 and over years old." That number makes sense -- sport bikes are a young man's bike, and they generally are in the 600 - 999 cc range. The bigger than 1001cc bikes are cruisers and those are the older man's re-entrant bike.

Bottom line -- nobody is immune. Minimize risks as best as possible.
 

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mountain bike mike said:
vito said:
bocco said:
......Bocco "Wild Italian" Maybe a bowl of steaming spaghetti and meatballs for a jacket patch?
What's not to like about a "spaghetti and meatballs" patch? Maybe a
"calamari" patch for new riders as well?
SQUID...i get it!!!!!! :lol:
DING!!! We have a winner!!!!:wink:
 

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TucsonDon said:
This statistic was interesting: "Almost half (about 46 percent) of fatal motorcycle crashes are single vehicle." We can't blame the "cager" on those.
Cager pulls into bikers lane to make a pass of another cager, biker runs off roadway to avoid oncoming cager in its lane. Single vehicle accident.
Gotta love flat statistics.
 

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Here's an idea that's so crazy it might just work.

Forget the statistics. Toss 'em. They mean nothing. Nothing at all. Just don't worry about them.

Why?

Well, I can only use myself as an example. I *never* ride after drinking. I *am* a safe rider. I *am* a trained rider. I wear a helmet. I wear safety gear. And I know how to control my machine. Ok, that covers a lot of the basics.

Now then... I live "out in the country". Big, long, narrow, hilly, winding country roads in the foothills. Tractors, horses, deer, live and dead smaller critters, pickup trucks driven by speed crazed ********... these are but a few of the road hazards I face daily. If one of these guys in a pickup truck pulls out to swing around a tractor and hits me, or I run off the road, that's his fault. And I'll be a statistic. But which one?

If the truck and I hit each other, it's a multi-vehicle accident. If I run off the road due to his actions and wrap myself around a pole, it's a single vehicle accident.

Fact is, I run into this situation all the time and in *every* case, the pickup truck (or soccer mom, or teenager, etc) *should* be cited for various infractions, but I'm so used to it that I just slow down, make the room and let the idiots do what they're going to do.

Now, if I didn't, and you read about me dying from deceleration trauma and telephone pole poisoning, you're going to assume that I was speeding, lost control and ran off the road. *that* isn't me. (I know, sounds arrogant, but I know and ride within my limits - period) But it'd be easy to believe giving the "single vehicle crash" statistic that will be applied to it. Yet the truck would have been the root cause and, frankly, my inaction in avoiding it, and my inability to predict and take defensive measures would have been contributory factors. None of that would have been taken into account, statistically. It would have likely been written up as "single vehicle accident, excessive speed was a contributor". And completely wrong.

The statistics are ass and I'm sure they're almost *never* representative of the facts - at least as they apply to the root cause of the accident.

Bottom line... Get the training. Get the gear. BE SMART. Watch your own ass, cause *no* one else is. Don't rely on statistics and for the love of all that doesn't suck, don't settle into some stupid "I fall outside those statistics so I'm safe from [insert cause here]" mindset.
 

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I've thought an awful lot about this, had too much coffee before bed and it was on my mind. :(
Some thought as to why older riders may well be at greater risk, actually one thought, it's the bike. If a 20 year old is going to buy a bike you can bet he's looking at a crotch rocket and the 50 year old is looking at a cruiser. I know those crotch rockets have insane specs, etc. But I've watched these kids on these super fast bikes and here are some observations.

Sport bike: very light and nimble.
Cruiser: Heavier and not nearly as manuveurable. Of course, some are better than others.

Sport bike: It's fashionable to wear a FF helmet and armored gear.
Cruiser: You're only cool if lidless and in a T-shirt and jeans, at least leather jackets and sturdy boots made the fashion cut, but only if cold enough outside.

Sport bike: Those guys can ride. The "cool factor" may be somewhat dictated by acts that are rather foolish but, you only look cool if you can ride really well.
Cruiser: It's all about the bikes appearance and image. Unless you make a complete fool of yourself your riding skills are rarely challenged.
I was Bikeweek in Daytona in traffic. As we crept along I watched the guys in front and behind me. Most were dragging thier feet unless we got of 10 - 15 mph, but they had some nice looking, expensive bikes. I've rarely seen sport riders drag thier feet. Personally I'm upset with myself if my feet ever touch the ground while moving, and I hate taking my feet off my pegs.

Sport bike: Higher, more aggressive riding position.
Cruiser: Low seat height, leaned back angle.
The riding position on a sport bike makes it easier to see and deal with hazards in traffic where we have the least control over our enviroment. I've thought about buying a sport bike for commuting since I take the most agressive riding position I can when riding around town.

Sport bike: Take a corner at speed limit and find out it's tighter than you thouht you probably have room to go to get a tighter turn.
Cruiser: We start dragging pegs floorboards, etc much quicker.

Lastly, attitude I've seen with guys I know my age (43) and older. Most figure since they rode a dirt bike once upon a time there's no need to take any classes let alone read a book or practice. They really seem to think that since they can keep it upright while moving they know how to ride. If they do take MSF it's not to learn it's just to get thier endorsement. Many seem to think that highway riding is the most dangerous since higher speeds are involved and think little of in terms of danger in city driving. I've seen that numerous times here on the board with statements like "I only wear a helmet on raod trips, not around town." Regardless of what any study says, around town is where there are alot more dangers due to cager than out of the highway, IMO. Plus, out on the open road it's up to me to determine if I wreck. Most studies I've seen indicate most accidents in rural areas are due to riders taking curves too fast, not those mean cagers.

Add these factors and the ones mentioned earlier, alcohol, fatigue, etc. I find it very easy to believe that older riders are much more at risk.

Feel free to flame away if you disagree but this is only my opinion based on what I've observed, I'm not claiming any scientific proof.

chornbe said:
Don't rely on statistics and for the love of all that doesn't suck, don't settle into some stupid "I fall outside those statistics so I'm safe from [insert cause here]" mindset.
But, but... I'm under 50 and ride a smaller displacment (750) bike... you mean I'm not bulletproof... but the stats say I am. Thanks for raining in my parade. :(
OK, that last bit was satire, I think chrombe knows that but some others may not understand so I better clarify
 

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Lies, damn lies and statistics (thank you Mr. Disraeli). I doubt there are any absolute conclusions that can be drawn from the accident statistics (with the possible exception of alcohol avoidance). Most accidents are human caused and we are complex, fallable creatures that can and will make a hugh variety of mistakes. Seems the best you can do with the statistics is observe general trends and work to mitigate those representing the greatest hazards. If someone trys to draw a definitive conclusion, that is most likely pursuit of an agenda rather than good math. Chaos happens.
 
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