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Old 07-20-2007, 01:10 PM   #1
sofadv
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Contra Costa Times article re: moto death

Contra Costa Times has an article this morning about the new study showing the motorcycle riders profiles are different and the death rates are on the rise.

Also, it shows that most deaths are concluded with the motorcycle rider at fault.

What do you think of all these?

http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_6...nclick_check=1
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:24 PM   #2
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Re: Contra Costa Times article re: moto death

The numbers look about right to me.Folks get on a bike and leave their brain behind.
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:59 PM   #3
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Re: Contra Costa Times article re: moto death

It's one of those annoying subscrption sites. Here's a cut and paste of the article.


Motorcyle popularity comes with a steep price
By Malaika Fraley CONTRA COSTA TIMES
Chris Williams was riding his motorcycle on Chilpancingo Parkway in Pleasant Hill when a woman in a Volvo, trying to make a right turn out of the Toys R Us parking lot, pulled into his path. Williams was going about 40 mph with another car close behind him, and he had little time to brake.
"Once she noticed me she just got scared and froze, stopping halfway out," said Williams, a 21-year-old Martinez resident. "If she would have continued pulling out, I could have swerved behind her. But she didn't, so I swerved in front and my leg dragged across her hood.
"Things like that happen all the time," Williams said. "You have to think fast and not hesitate. Otherwise you're pavement."
Since Williams bought a 2006 Kawasaki Ninja sport bike six months ago, close calls with motorists who appear oblivious to motorcyclists are a daily occurrence. Still, with the adrenaline, the freedom, the engine power, the sights and smells on the road, he loves to ride.
For motorcycle enthusiasts, the highs of riding are worth the risks of sharing the road with other motorists who are less vulnerable in their steel bubbles. And the risk is considerable.
The number of motorcycle fatalities has increased 125 percent in the past 10 years, federal statistics show, as motorcycle registrations more than doubled.
Sixteen motorcyclists have been killed in Contra Costa County this year, the latest in Pittsburg on Tuesday. That's six more than in all of 2006, and it's only July,

the height of the motorcycle collision season, which ends in October. High gas prices and advertising that includes a boom of reality shows such as "American Chopper" have contributed in part to the increase in motorcycle popularity.
Joining the sport in droves are baby boomer bikers, who have less to risk now that they've raised their families and find themselves with disposable income. They have turned the motorcycle rider demographic upside down. Whereas 25 years ago the average rider was twentysomething today he or she is middle-aged. Men older than 49 represent the largest increase in motorcycle fatalities. More women are joining the ranks, but they still represent a small minority of riders.
Reny Sunga, a motorcycle training officer who has been riding with the California Highway Patrol for 17 years, said the factors leading to collisions differ between age groups.
"Especially now that summer's here, we're getting a lot more young riders doing wheelies, racing, weaving in and out of traffic at 100 mph," Sunga said. "With older riders, it can be an issue of experience -- first-time riders and riders that haven't ridden in a while."
"They'll find their reflexes and reactions aren't what they used to be. Maybe a loss in their night vision, hearing, depth perception -- the things that come with age," Sunga said.
Older men are more likely to afford high-end motorcycles that are bigger and more powerful than the bikes they may have ridden in their youth. The bigger bikes are not recommended for inexperienced riders.
Tom Beisheim, 55, is a former professional racer and has been an avid motorcycle rider for 40 years. Most of his peers have been riding for just as long, but he's well-acquainted with empty nesters who take up riding after a decades-long hiatus.
"The entry-level bikes today are much faster than we saw when we started riding in the '60s, with twice the engine size," said Beisheim, who has one bike that tops out at 190 mph. "That's why stunt riding is so big now. The bikes are so good you don't need talent to do it. You can pop a wheelie and go a half-mile without bringing it down."
The new trends in motorcycles and riders have prompted the federal government to sponsor the first major study in 30 years of the causes of motorcycle crashes. The study is gearing up to begin at Oklahoma State University.
State and federal statistics show that when alcohol or drugs -- which together make up the second-most-common cause of motorcycle fatalities -- are taken out of the equation, the most common mistakes made by motorcyclists are poorly negotiated turns and traveling on the wrong side of the road.
Speeding is the No. 1 contributor to injuries and fatalities.
Then there's sharing the road with other motorists. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation, a nonprofit organization funded by the motorcycle industry, says the motorist is usually at fault in multivehicle collisions involving a motorcyclist. "Assume you're invisible to the cars around you" is the first lesson taught in training courses.
"No matter how defensive I ride, there's always at least one close call a day," Sunga said.
"The drivers out here, they don't think about motorcycle riders," Sunga said. "When I ride I am scanning not only in front of me, behind me, using mirrors, looking over the shoulder. When I come upon a vehicle, I look at the driver's head position. If they are looking to the left, there's a possibility they are going to move left."
Brentwood police Sgt. Craig Hirsch is a traffic safety unit supervisor and former motorcycle officer. He said he's noticed the increase in motorcycle fatalities in Brentwood as his community grows. There have been two this year.
Hirsch said both new and experienced riders should take safety classes every couple of years, even after getting the training required to get a motorcycle license.
"I think a lot of people assume it's easy. They don't understand dynamics of a motorcycle versus that of a car or how to properly brake," Hirsch said. "Even as officers, we get out and practice regularly and take refresher courses every couple years."
Beisheim recommends regular practice time at racing tracks, which he said costs less than a speeding ticket, to sharpen skills and quench the thirst for speed and stunts away from a street environment.
"When you get older, you are little more aware of mortality," Beisheim said. "But if you like motorcycles and it's a part of you, you can't imagine not having them."
Williams said he's well aware of the responsibility of riding. His second cousin and a friend died in motorcycle accidents. It's partly why his bike is a contentious issue with his parents, who threatened to kick him out of their home because of it before he moved out on his own accord.
"They hate it," Williams said. "There's times I'm on the road and I think of the impact on my girlfriend and family if something happened to me -- it would tear them apart.
"Those are the things that make you ride defensively and safe. If safety wasn't on your mind, you'd be dead."
Malaika Fraley covers crime and public safety. Reach her at 925-945-4782 or mfraley@cctimes.com.
Avoiding motorcycle collisions
Motorcyclists: Stay aware and focused. Don't speed and don't do tricks. Give yourself enough room and anticipate the movement of vehicle as far as seven car lengths ahead. Wear protective gear. Expect the unexpected.
Motorists: Don't be distracted. Slow down. When making lane changes, use turn signals and don't rely on mirrors. Assume there's a motorcyclist in your blind spot and double check before you move over.
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:00 PM   #4
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Re: Contra Costa Times article re: moto death

What I don't understand is that the article states, plus we all know, that nobody looks out for bikes on the road. I thought that most of the fatalities are due to cars doing left turns and bikes run into them.
If you see the chart that CHP posted, most of the collisions and death are the bikes' fault. Am I missing something?
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:10 PM   #5
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Re: Contra Costa Times article re: moto death

I'd have to say of course speed is a factor in most motorcycle accidents,You're crazy to ride in traffic at the speed limit.I've tried and let me tell ya after several crazy cage episodes I get back up to cruising speed (defensive speed) it might get me a ticket but its alot cheaper than a hospital stay
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:49 PM   #6
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Re: Contra Costa Times article re: moto death

Speed, I understand.
Improper turns, ok.
Driving on the wrong side of the road?
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Old 07-20-2007, 05:56 PM   #7
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Re: Contra Costa Times article re: moto death

impatient riders who pass cars on the double yellow and other inapropriate places.All of which I have been guilty of myself.
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Old 07-20-2007, 06:22 PM   #8
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Re: Contra Costa Times article re: moto death

I know this area well. It's a highly congested retail zone. It's a 25 mph zone. And directly at the Toys R Us exit is a freeway on ramp and exit ramp on an undivided four lane street. At least three risk factors contributed to the accident noted in the newspaper. 1. A woman:>) 2. in a Volvo 3. a goof on a Ninja is doing 40 in a 25 equals a high probability of an accident happening. As to the about 50 percent injury accidents caused by motorcyclists, so what? It doesn't mean anything. There isn't a statistical implication.
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Old 07-20-2007, 06:47 PM   #9
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Re: Contra Costa Times article re: moto death

Get up on soapbox

I am not suprised by these numbers at all. We have all talked in many posts about the stupid things we see, both vehicle drivers and motorcycle riders. Part of this is just due to the shear number of MC's sold & on the road today.

We all know that it is too easy to get a MC license in CA, and most states, take a 2 day parking lot riding course and walk in and get your license, no further riding or testing required. Then go climb on the 150hp rocket.

As many of us have said here, it is our task in life to try & help educate new riders. Once having said that, it isn't easy. Ego stands in the way, we are invincible. How many times do you pass across the double yellow, at high speed, where you shouldn't. How many times do you....., you get the picture.

I think the folks on Pashnit do an excellent job of trying to steer new riders in the correct direction, but then we post videos that reflect "do as i say not as i do attitude"

We are in the middle of the MC Rider explosion, people looking for new adventure, new challenge and the freedom the MC creates for us.

I believe we are in for even higher numbers in the next few years.

Get off the soapbox....

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Old 07-20-2007, 08:22 PM   #10
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Shrug Re: Contra Costa Times article re: moto death

Quote:
Originally Posted by sofadv
What I don't understand is that the article states, plus we all know, that nobody looks out for bikes on the road. I thought that most of the fatalities are due to cars doing left turns and bikes run into them.
If you see the chart that CHP posted, most of the collisions and death are the bikes' fault. Am I missing something?
See post #2

It is very rare that a competent motorcycle rider could not have avoided an incident.

ATGATT does not make you safe knowing how to ride does
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