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this was just posted on CNN.com

Regulators also noted that motorcycle fatalities rose 12 percent to 3,661 over 2002.

Man, that's a lot of people who rode motorcycles who won't ride again.

We have to do something to reverse this trend.

You think it might have anything to do with the fact that a lot of states did away with helmet laws in the last couple of years? Naaaaaw...
 

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That number is meaningless without more info. Wonder how that compares with motorcycle registrations, miles ridden, etc......
 

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exactly. for argument's sake, what if twice as many people were riding over that period? Then the rise in deaths would actually be a decline in deaths, considering the overall population.
 

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what if twice as many people were riding over that period? Then the rise in deaths would actually be a decline in deaths, considering the overall population.
That's a valid point, but I suspect it's not the case.
 

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Yes, the number of riders has been going up for over a dozen years. BUT, fatalities have been going down for nearly 10 of those years. Now the fatalities are going back up. Did you know that today, the number one fatalitie group is the over 50 group NOT the young sportbike riders?
 

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2 killed in Alabama this past Sat, odds are they would have been killed had they been in car too, illegal pass by big van double lines, head on.
 

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Deaths on motorcycles are fairly likely to increase as motorcycle sales increase. Repealing helmet laws couldn't help IMO, but I think it's mainly just due to the newest wave of popularity of motorcycles.
 

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I would think another reason for increased cycle crashes is because of our highways becoming more and more crowded. I live in Minnesota and the highway system is about 15 years behind the population. People are driving faster and faster every year for one simple reason... when there's an opening on the highway they put the pedal down. I for one am so tired of sitting in bumper to bumper traffic that when I have and opening I drive faster to make up for lost time.
 

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Its not really related to the increase in motorcycles on the street. The main factor is the Baby Boomers are getting older and have reduced reflexes and vision (Im not making this up BTW) and now make up the majority of fatal accidents.

The second reason is related to helmet law repeals. The very month some of the larger states made helmet use voluntary, the fatalities went up for the first time in over 10 years.
 

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How can states have mandatory seatbelt laws and have a "Helmet optional" type of attitude? It doesn't make sense to me at all.
 

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Read an article which correlated increases in motorcycle fatalities with increases in Light truck/SUV sales. The logic being that since light trucks/SUV's are making up a greater proportion of the traffic mix, that motorcyclists are more likely to die if involved in a multi-vehicle accident.

Since a majority of multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes involve "other vehicle violating motorcycle's right of way", the increasing likelihood that that "other vehicle" is a light truck or SUV is causing motorcycle fatalities to increase.

Any thoughts on this?
 

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I wish I could put my finger on it, but the number of motorcycles rider has been going up steadily over the last decade or so as someone mentioned, and the fatality rate per 100,000 miles has been fairly constant.

I don't think most fatal accidents are affected by helmet use. When you hit a tree, or a car squarely, you are probably going to die. Helmet use will help you primarily in non fatal accidents.
 

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KatanaMike wrote: We have to do something to reverse this trend.
Darn right. Or the government will find ways to "help".
You think it might have anything to do with the fact that a lot of states did away with helmet laws in the last couple of years? Naaaaaw...
Since 1997, 6 states have repealed (or severely curtailed) helmet requirements: AR, FL, KY, LA, PA, and TX. PA's was effective September 4, 2003, so it hasn't had much effect on the stats--yet. However, The other 44 states have also seen big increases. Helmet law changes can account for only a small part.

gpTT wrote: That number is meaningless without more info. Wonder how that compares with motorcycle registrations, miles ridden, etc......
NHTSA's 2003 Annual Assessment, from which info in the news stories came, has rates per registered bike and per mile traveled since 1997. Other NHTSA documents provide the same back to the early '70s. Long story short: deaths per bike have increased 18%, deaths per mile have increased 60% (but there's reason to be suspicious of their mileage estimates).
Read an article which correlated increases in motorcycle fatalities with increases in Light truck/SUV sales...Any thoughts on this?
I think I read the same article. The problem with blaming the fatality increase on light trucks is that most of the increase has occurred in single-vehicle crashes.

MaxOwner wrote: What if a mouse goes outside? does he become a rat?
Dunno. I found a dead rat on my veranda (outside the upper level of the house) this morning. The cat that leaves me bits of dead rat usually drops them at the front door, and I don't think he could climb up to the veranda with a rat anyway. I'm thinking it was accidentally dropped by an owl. Whaddayou think?

Squid Killer wrote: Yes, the number of riders has been going up for over a dozen years. BUT, fatalities have been going down for nearly 10 of those years. Now the fatalities are going back up. Did you know that today, the number one fatalitie group is the over 50 group NOT the young sportbike riders?
Deaths dropped steadily from 1980 to 1997 but have since increased. The 50+ group isn't on top yet, but it's growing fast. The NHTSA doc linked above charts age-group changes from 1988 to 2003.
The main factor is the Baby Boomers are getting older and have reduced reflexes and vision (Im not making this up BTW) and now make up the majority of fatal accidents.
Hurt found that older riders were less likely to crash, as did the recent European study (don't have a link handy but I can dig it up). It's a little hard to know whether that's still the case in the US because rider demographics are hard to find. But in 1998, median rider age was 36 and median fatality age was 34, IIRC. Judgment to stay out of trouble in the first place is a helluva lot more effective at preventing injury than reactions to evade it.
 
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