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Motorcycle Safety / General Discussion
Helmet color and visibility
Baggsy
05/21/2019  7:03 PM
It's possible that people look for white helmets more, because in some jurisdictions that's what motorcycle police officers wear. Here's a New Zealand study that makes claims about white helmets: https://www.bmj.com/content/328/7444/857

"Compared with wearing a black helmet, use of a white helmet was associated with a 24% lower risk (multivariate odds ratio 0.76, 0.57 to 0.99). "
Helmet color and visibility
scottrnelson
05/04/2019  4:18 PM
I asked this question on another forum, got a whole lot of opinions, some conflicting with others, and one good link: http://smarter-usa.org/research/con...ity-highviz/

That link didn't directly cover helmet color and which is most visible, but it covered a lot of related stuff and had links to a lot of different studies. Some of them even mentioned helmet color, but I couldn't find any conclusions about the helmet color specifically. Interesting light configurations and bright riding gear were covered in several.

Ultimately I didn't find the answer to whether or not white helmets are more visible than other bright colors. And next time somebody makes that claim based on "a study", I'm going to call them on it an see if they can point me at even a single one.
Helmet color and visibility
rkfire
05/03/2019  3:55 PM
Purely based on decades old memory, I remember it being said there was a study of what color made the most noticeable fire engine. The yellowish/greenish version won. I have no link or anything to corroborate.
Helmet color and visibility
Alan_Hepburn
05/01/2019  9:57 AM
Don't know of any studies, but our helmets are what BILT calls "day-glo" - bright yellow - and we find they are very visible. Especially to bugs!
NTSB investigates multiple-vehicle motorcycle crash in Maine
DataDan
05/01/2019  9:27 AM
quote:
Originally posted by onthebeach

The NTSB report lists 3,000 motorcyclists. I don't know if that is 3,000 motorcycles or potentially 1,5000 motorcycles each with a rider/passenger pair. Either way a lot of motorcycles. So one take away would be that riding in a really large group should be carefully considered as you are at risk from other riders. I suspect there is added danger from riders trying to stay together which will be quite difficult without dedicated traffic control.

The NTSB report listed 5 motorcycles with 5 operators, 4 passengers. Only one operator was using a helmet as was one passenger on a different bike. The report only called out one rider and passenger as being required to wear a helmet, neither were. So 2 helmets for 9 people.

I would guess that in a state in which only SOME riders are required to wear a helmet compliance may be low due to police not being able to look at a rider and immediately know if they are required to use one.

I am not claiming that helmets would have prevented death or injury in this event, just commenting on the lack of helmet use even by those for whom required.

You make a good point about enforcement when a helmet law has exceptions. In practice, the requirement becomes an add-on ticket when a motorcyclist gets pulled over for something else. Michigan's 2012 helmet law repeal (see this thread) requires a helmet for motorcyclists under age 21, but from 2012-2017, 20% of crash-involved riders under 21 were unhelmeted.

The unhlemeted Sportster rider in this crash was required to wear one because it had been less than a year since he got his motorcycle endorsement. His passenger, also unhelmeted, was required to wear one because he was. He died from "blunt force trauma to the chest", according to the NTSB report. She bailed (at 25mph) before impact and broke her ankle.

The second rider killed collided with the pickup in the #3 lane, after it had caromed off the median guardrail. He was wearing a full-face helmet and died of "multiple blunt force injuries".
NTSB investigates multiple-vehicle motorcycle crash in Maine
onthebeach
04/30/2019  3:22 PM
The NTSB report lists 3,000 motorcyclists. I don't know if that is 3,000 motorcycles or potentially 1,5000 motorcycles each with a rider/passenger pair. Either way a lot of motorcycles. So one take away would be that riding in a really large group should be carefully considered as you are at risk from other riders. I suspect there is added danger from riders trying to stay together which will be quite difficult without dedicated traffic control.

The NTSB report listed 5 motorcycles with 5 operators, 4 passengers. Only one operator was using a helmet as was one passenger on a different bike. The report only called out one rider and passenger as being required to wear a helmet, neither were. So 2 helmets for 9 people.

I would guess that in a state in which only SOME riders are required to wear a helmet compliance may be low due to police not being able to look at a rider and immediately know if they are required to use one.

I am not claiming that helmets would have prevented death or injury in this event, just commenting on the lack of helmet use even by those for whom required.

Helmet color and visibility
scottrnelson
04/30/2019  3:22 PM
I was recently at the local Cycle Gear store getting a new rear tire for my KTM (original lasted 3200 miles) and was looking at their helmets. I'm due for a new dual sport helmet and was trying to find the right one.

While trying on helmets I determined the Shoei Hornet fits right, but they're only available in black, grey, or white. I want bright yellow or orange.

The sales guy said that studies have determined that white is the most visible helmet color, but I don't believe it. If I'm riding in traffic and one fourth of the cars and trucks are white, I believe that I blend right in with traffic, while a yellow or orange helmet stands out more because the color is different from just about everything in the background. I know that yellow shows up a bit better than orange in overcast conditions, but I feel that my orange helmet is just as bright in full sunlight.

So I've been trying to find a study that has determined which motorcycle helmet colors are most visible and I can't seem to find anything. Do any of you know of such a study? And does it say that white is the most visible?
NTSB investigates multiple-vehicle motorcycle crash in Maine
Alan_Hepburn
04/30/2019  10:48 AM
Seems to me that a run of that size absollutely NEEDS a police presence for traffic control if nothing else...
NTSB investigates multiple-vehicle motorcycle crash in Maine
DataDan
04/29/2019  9:46 AM
In September 2017, the United Bikers of Maine held their annual toy run to collect Christmas gifts for needy kids. During the ride, in which 3000 motorcyclists participated, an accident involving five motorcycles and a pickup killed two and injured four. In addition to the normal investigation by state authorities, the US DOT's National Transportation Safety Board also looked into the incident. Though better known for probing plane crashes, the NTSB also sometimes investigates highway crashes. Readers here may be interested in the results.

I have included the NTSB's summary below. The full report (15-page PDF) includes much more detail, and crash scene photos (PDF, vehicles not victims) are also available. The crash occurred here (Google Maps link).

As a result of the NTSB investigation, UBM have excluded the group ride from their planned 2019 event, though donations will still be collected, according to this story in the Brunswick Times Record.




Motorcycle and Pickup Truck Crash During "Toy Run" Group Ride

Executive Summary

About noon on Sunday, September 10, 2017, an estimated 3,000 motorcyclists gathered at the Augusta Civic Center in Augusta, Kennebec County, Maine, to participate in the 36th annual United Bikers of Maine (UBM) Toy Run, a charity event in which motorcyclists join in a group ride, bringing a toy to the gathering. From the civic center, the motorcyclists were first to travel north on Interstate 95 (I-95) between exits 112B and 113. They were to enter I-95 using the on-ramp north of exit 112B and to depart I-95 at exit 113. After leaving the interstate, the motorcyclists were to proceed east on Route 3/202 and then south on Route 32, reaching their destination at the Windsor Fairgrounds.

As the UBM Toy Run began, the large number of motorcyclists merging onto the interstate caused a traffic queue on northbound I-95 between exits 112B and 113. The motorcycles were queued in a staggered formation. The distance between the exits is only about 0.5 mile and, in the northbound merge area, the roadway transitions from four to three lanes (left, center, and right lanes). At the crash location, the northbound roadway consisted of these three lanes. There was no traffic control, lane closure, or law enforcement presence on I-95 to provide warning, management, or protection for the queue of motorcyclists.

About 12:05 p.m., a 2007 Harley-Davidson XL 1200 motorcycle (vehicle 1), which was participating in the group ride, suddenly moved out of the right lane, traveled across the center lane, and entered the left lane in front of a 2008 Ford F250 pickup truck (vehicle 2), occupied by a 67-year-old male driver and a 99-year-old female passenger, which was traveling north on I-95. The motorcycle was carrying a 25-year-old male operator and a 26-year-old female passenger. Based on skid mark evidence, the pickup truck driver attempted an evasive maneuver but collided with the motorcycle at about mile marker 112.5, losing control of his vehicle, in part because the pickup truck had "collected" the Harley-Davidson XL 1200 motorcycle, causing the pickup truck to rotate clockwise. The pickup truck veered out of the left lane to the right and traveled across the center and right northbound lanes, striking four other motorcycles.

The pickup truck then went through the right guardrail, overturned, and came to rest on its passenger side. The 2007 Harley-Davidson motorcycle traveled through the guardrail and came to rest on its right side in a ditch beside the pickup truck.

As a result of the crash, two motorcyclists died. One motorcyclist and the pickup truck passenger received serious injuries. The pickup truck driver and four motorcyclists received minor injuries.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the Augusta, Maine, crash was the motorcycle operator's unsafe maneuver in moving in front of the pickup truck. Contributing to this crash was the failure of the city of Augusta Police Department and the Toy Run event organizer, United Bikers of Maine, to identify and mitigate the risks associated with routing a group ride onto an interstate without providing supplemental traffic control or state police oversight.


US motorcycle crash data 2017
DataDan
04/17/2019  12:28 PM
Crashes by motorcycle type and rider age

Which bikes crash most, cruisers or sportbikes? That provocative question has been a hot topic of discussion since before the internet. I'm afraid I can't answer it because there is no data available on exposure--annual miles ridden by motorcycle type. Counts can be compared--more of these crash than those--but likelihood of a crash can't be compared without additional information.

Nevertheless, I offer this for your consideration:

Crash Involvement by Motorcycle Style and Rider Age, 2013-2017

STYLE................%CRASHES.....%FATALS....CRASH AGE...FATAL AGE
------------------------------------------------------------------
cruiser.................41%.........40%..........44..........48
sport...................29%.........36%..........30..........31
touring.................16%.........15%..........50..........54
scooter..................5%..........2%..........42..........50
traditional..............4%..........3%..........37..........40
enduro...................2%..........2%..........38..........46
dirt.....................2%..........2%..........25..........29

combined...............100%........100%..........40..........43

Percentages are fraction of all police-reported motorcycle crashes by bike type. This breakdown is possible because "style" is now a published datum in the NHTSA databases, via auto industry marketing information company R.L. Polk. We probably wouldn't agree with all the classifications, but they seem to reflect a good understanding of the market.

Cruisers are mostly Harleys, 67%, but some Harleys are touring. Sportbikes are the Gixxers you expect, but also my FJR. Traditionals are standards, including most older bikes. Dirt bikes are mostly street legal but also include motorcrossers. Enduros comprise the full range of adventure bikes, from 250s up to BMW R1200GS.

A few observations: For all classes except sportbikes, fatal crash involvement is lower than all crash involvement. IOW, sportbike crashes tend to be deadlier. OTOH, scooter crashes are much less likely to be fatal. Ages are pretty much what you'd expect from knowing who usually rides what. One exception is scooters; crash age is older than I would have expected. Note that for all groups, fatality age is higher than crash age. This supports my claim that crash lethality increases with age, discussed in the thread Vulnerability of older riders in motorcycle crashes.


Data from NHTSA's Crash Report Sampling System (2016-2017), General Estimates System, Fatality Analysis Reporting System.
Iowa Motorcycle Safety Event
Linacruise1467
04/12/2019  5:23 AM

When will next event happen again? I have attended this event, it was great for all bike lovers. It got a ticket of this event after facing many difficulties from https://www.reecoupons.com/view/flo...cket-station, please do notify me whenever it will happen.




Motorcycle Crash Causation Study--NTSB recommendations
DataDan
04/08/2019  12:06 PM
The 351 Orange County, CA, crashes investigated for the MCCS, by design, all resulted in motorcyclist injury. Thus, they are not quite representative of all motorcycle crashes, since around 15% of police-reported crashes in the area are non-injury. Moreover, they also involve a greater percentage of fatalities, 11.4%, while state records show that 2.7% of motorcycle crashes in the county were fatal, 2015-2017.

As part of the study, 702 non-crashers were interviewed at times and places similar to the crashes as a sample of the population from which the riders came. Here are a few crasher/non-crasher comparisons:

.......................|...more likely..|..less likely..
.......................|....to crash....|...to crash....
group ride.............|................|.......X.......
no training............|.......X........|...............
self-taught............|................|.......X.......
< 3 years experience...|.......X........|...............
age <= 30..............|.......X........|...............


Here are some results that need elaboration:
  • Attention failure contributed to 32% of crashes.

  • Motorcyclist's traffic scan contributed significantly to multiple-vehicle crashes.

  • Motorcycle speed compared to surrounding traffic contributed significantly (though it doesn't say "high" or "low").

  • Alcohol or drugs involved in 13% of crashes.

Finally, here are two inscrutable conclusions, interpretation of which I leave to you:
  • Situation incompatibility contributed to 25% of crashes.

  • Compensation failure contributed to 23% of crashes.
Motorcycle Crash Causation Study--NTSB recommendations
DataDan
04/05/2019  7:41 PM
quote:
Originally posted by scottrnelson

Page 37:
quote:
38 - If First Harmful Event Is a Noncollision

Overturns (90 percent) were the dominant type of the first harmful event for the MC or OV in noncollision.

I'm trying to understand this one. Motorcycles pretty much always tip over when you crash them. Were there 10 percent of cases where the bike somehow stayed upright?


Probably not. I don't know how the term is defined for these investigations, but NHTSA documents on their crash data publications define it thusly: The First Harmful Event is defined as the first injury or damage producing event of the crash. NHTSA also refers to an ANSI manual, so it is apparently a standard term.

From NHTSA, here is a list of possible First Harmful Events for a non-collision:

rollover/overturn
fire/explosion
immersion or partial immersion
gas inhalation
jackknife (harmful to this vehicle)
injured in vehicle (non-collision)
pavement surface irregularity (ruts, potholes, grates, etc.)
other non-collision
thrown or falling object
cargo/equipment loss or shift (harmful to this vehicle)
fell/jumped from vehicle
Motorcycle Crash Causation Study--NTSB recommendations
scottrnelson
04/05/2019  6:48 AM
quote:
Originally posted by DataDan

I hereby resolve to find 3 things and post them up on Monday!

Okay, here are the first three interesting things that I found in the report.

Page 31:
quote:
3 - First Harmful Event for Motorcycle

95.1 percent of single-vehicle crashes first collided with a "Fixed Roadside Object."
I find that interesting because two out of three times that I've managed to crash a motorcycle the only object I hit was the road. The other time it was a guard rail.

Page 32:
quote:
10 - Crash Configuration

Left-turn scenarios were the most common crash configuration, followed by falling to avoid crash and running off the roadway.

I also find this intersting - "falling to avoid crash". That has to be a training problem when a rider basically crashes to avoid crashing. Maybe it has to do with poor braking skills. I learned from lots of dirt bike riding that you don't ever give up. There's always hope of "saving it".

Page 37:
quote:
38 - If First Harmful Event Is a Noncollision

Overturns (90 percent) were the dominant type of the first harmful event for the MC or OV in noncollision.

I'm trying to understand this one. Motorcycles pretty much always tip over when you crash them. Were there 10 percent of cases where the bike somehow stayed upright?
Motorcycle Crash Causation Study--NTSB recommendations
DataDan
04/04/2019  7:02 PM
The final report is now available from the Federal Highway Administration here: Motorcycle Crash Causation Study: Final Report. Two other big documents are available on the project website, but seem to be more about conduct of the study than information of interest to motorcyclists. Raw data is available, but only on special request.

I could say I was "disappointed" but that's not true, because my expectations had dropped to about zero over the past 10+ years. The 100-page report isn't remotely near the standard set by Hurt--scoff as you may at his archaic data compilation methods on 1970s computers, or production with hand-drawn graphs and IBM Selectric "typesetting". Hurt was a motorcyclist, and he produced his report for other motorcyclists. We learned a great deal from it.

This one was done by the federal government to satisfy the requirements of pork-barrel legislation. Not only that, the project was handed off to a state agency, where it was run by a goldbrick equally uninterested in motorcycles. Further, the real work--the same kind done by Hurt's motivated crew of grad students--was contracted out, again, to parties with no interest, no skin in the game. And it cost so much more than Hurt's that only 351 crashes were investigated, compared to 900 in Hurt, and is thus much lower in statistical power.

I haven't looked closely at the report yet. However, I did a search for "experience" since that's a Hurt result I'm familiar with. Very little turned up. Same with "age". I'll be looking for more in the next few days.

Here's my challenge to those of you left on this forum: Find something interesting in it. Something that makes you a better rider, makes you go "huh!", explains a phenomenon you've observed--and report back in this thread. The report's findings are in section 3, starting on page 31. They are divided into: time and place, environment, contributing factors, comparison to controls, and some stuff about passengers I skimmed right past.

I hereby resolve to find 3 things and post them up on Monday!
Bitcoins
James R. Davis
03/03/2019  7:50 PM
Thank you.

Now what would be nice is if the value of bitcoins and Ethereum would recover some of what they lost in the last year.
Bitcoins
Night Train
03/03/2019  3:53 PM
James, I've been away for awhile and just stopped by the check things out and pick up some refreshers for the upcoming riding season.

I came across this post and I have to tell you it's one of the best pieces of news I've seen for a long time. Glad to hear you are cancer free and was in a position to avail of the experimental procedure.

All the best to you and yours,

quote:
Originally posted by James R. Davis

Let me tell you a story. (Another example of being in the right place at the right time.)

Six months ago I was diagnosed with cancer. At my age (74) there are only two standard medical procedures to deal with it: radical surgery and Radiation. Typically, with a slowly growing cancer, the doctors recommend 'do nothing' but monitor it (quality of life issues). But there is an experimental procedure available that has far fewer side-effects than those other procedures. The problem is that no insurance company will pay for it and the procedure costs $30,000.

I elected to have that procedure performed. I sold $30,000 worth of Ethereum and withdrew the cash into my bank. Within a few days, I paid my doctor $30,000 for the procedure. Three weeks ago my lab tests verified that I am now cancer free.

Oh, within two months of my USD withdrawal I had earned more than the $30,000 I took out.

In a way, one could argue that Ethereum saved my life. (Exaggeration, of course.)

Motorcycle Safety and Dynamics - available now
scottrnelson
01/31/2019  2:22 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Linacruise1467

From where I can get your book? Its available on online stores?

Go here https://www.msgroup.org/ and click on the book that you want to buy. It will point you in the right direction.

I have both books and have shared them with other riders over the years.
Motorcycle Safety and Dynamics - available now
Linacruise1467
01/17/2019  2:08 AM
From where I can get your book? Its available on online stores?
US motorcycle crash data 2017
DataDan
01/15/2019  10:09 AM
Well, I procrastinated for 3 months after downloading the database. So there's that.

The crash investigation itself takes a while for a fatality. The California crash database published by CHP has both the crash date and the date processed into the database. For fatalities it takes an average of 5 months to be entered, for minor injury crashes 1.5 months.

After the investigation is complete and the report written, it goes to NHTSA (part of US DOT) to be transformed into FARS database format. Some of that process is automated, of course. Date, time, location, etc. are just moved from one place to another. Coded items are easy, too: "M" for male in the CHP database becomes "1" in FARS.

Then comes the hard part: turning the investigating officer's words and pictures into numeric codes. Here's an example of how one crash appears. From the illustrated crash narrative, someone had to describe it in numbers (which I then translated back to words):

vehicle number.....................|1............................................|2
direction of travel................|east.........................................|west
trafficway flow....................|two-way, not divided.........................|two-way, not divided
roadway alignment..................|curve right .................................|straight
roadway profile....................|level........................................|level
relation to junction...............|non-junction ................................|non-junction
traffic control device.............|warning sign.................................|warning sign
body type..........................|two-wheel motorcycle.........................|light pickup
vehicle model year.................|1991.........................................|1991
vehicle make.......................|Harley-Davidson..............................|Toyota
model..............................|FLSTF........................................|PICKUP
age................................|36...........................................|40
sex................................|male.........................................|male
driver drinking....................|drinking.....................................|not drinking
alcohol test result................|0.08.........................................|not tested
protection system use..............|DOT-compliant motorcycle helmet .............|lap and shoulder belt used
driver injury severity.............|fatal........................................|none
occupant deaths....................|1............................................|0
registered owner...................|driver registered owner......................|driver registered owner
non-CDL license status.............|valid........................................|valid
driver license type compliance.....|valid license for this class vehicle.........|valid license for this class vehicle
previous suspensions...............|0............................................|2
manner of collision................|not collision with motor vehicle.............|not collision with motor vehicle
first harmful event................|overturn/rollover............................|overturn/rollover
most harmful event.................|motor vehicle in transport on same roadway...|motor vehicle in transport on same roadway
lane splitting.....................|no...........................................|
pre-event movement.................|negotiating a curve .........................|going straight
critical pre-crash event...........|lost control--unknown cause..................|other vehicle encroaching from opposite
...................................|.............................................|direction over left lane line
crash avoidance maneuver...........|unknown......................................|no avoidance maneuver
pre-crash stability................|skidding laterally, clockwise rotation ......|tracking
pre-impact location................|stayed on roadway; left original travel lane |stayed in original travel lane
crash type.........................|other........................................|other
initial contact point..............|non-collision ...............................|12 o'clock
speed limit........................|55...........................................|55
travel speed.......................|55...........................................|35
speed related......................|no...........................................|no
primary collision factor...........|under the influence of alcohol or drug.......|not at fault
driver related factors.............|none.........................................|none
driver distracted by...............|not distracted...............................|not distracted
driver impaired by.................|unknown if impaired..........................|none/apparently normal
violations charged.................|none.........................................|none
vision obscured by.................|no obstruction noted.........................|no obstruction noted
vehicle factors....................|none ........................................|none
...................................|.............................................|
event sequence.....................|striking vehicle: impact point...............|struck vehicle: impact point
cross centerline ..................|1:non-harmful event..........................|
rollover/overturn .................|1:non-collision..............................|
vehicle strikes object ............|1:other objects set-in-motion................|2:12 o'clock
set in motion by another...........|.............................................|
motor vehicle in transport ........|1:6 o'clock..................................|2:12 o'clock
US motorcycle crash data 2017
scottrnelson
01/14/2019  4:39 PM
Thanks for posting this information.

Out of curiosity, do you know why it takes a whole year for this information to become available?
US motorcycle crash data 2017
DataDan
01/14/2019  11:31 AM
I've changed the thread title from "fatality data" to "crash data" because I'm adding a post on non-fatal crashes derived from NHTSA's Crash Report Sampling System, which I am now working with. CRSS (called GES, General Estimates System, from its 1988 inception through 2015), provides users with a weighted statistical sample of crashes, detailed data on (for 2017) 55,000 incidents representing a nationwide total of 6.5 million of all severities, non-injury to fatal. Among them are 3,000 motorcycle crash investigations representing a total of about 100,000.



As in previous years, I'm posting this short summary of the US fatal motorcycle crash data from NHTSA's FARS database. My 2016 post is here.


US Fatal Motorcycle Crashes 2013-2017

..............................|....2013|....2014|....2015|....2016|....2017
..............................|........|........|........|........|........
motorcycles in fatal crashes..|....4799|....4705|....5131|....5467|....5326
motorcyclists killed..........|....4692|....4594|....5029|....5337|....5172
other-vehicle occupants killed|......32|......26|......31|......46|......38
non-motorists killed..........|......39|......34|......40|......48|......40
..............................|........|........|........|........|........
median rider age..............|......42|......43|......42|......42|......42
..............................|........|........|........|........|........
rider drinking................|.....31%|.....31%|.....30%|.....27%|.....26%
..............................|........|........|........|........|........
rider BAC .01-.07.............|......8%|......9%|......9%|......8%|......9%
rider BAC .08-.14.............|.....11%|.....11%|.....11%|.....11%|.....11%
rider BAC .15+................|.....19%|.....20%|.....18%|.....18%|.....20%
..............................|........|........|........|........|........
speed related.................|.....36%|.....35%|.....35%|.....34%|.....34%
..............................|........|........|........|........|........
rider unlicensed..............|.....27%|.....30%|.....29%|.....28%|.....30%


Long-term trend

US motorcycle fatalities remain high. The 2016 total, revised from last year's post after a database update, is now greater than the previous high reported in 2008. This is due mainly to continued (though slow) growth of the sport. Motorcycle registrations were also at a high in 2016, and vehicle-miles traveled were near a high (2017 regs and VMT are not yet available).

Rider age and sex

Involvement of the Baby Boom generation (now age 53-71) in fatal motorcycle crashes continues to decline, down to 27% in 2017. Millennials (< 34) were a plurality at 36%, and riders under age 21 were < 6%.

Women were < 4% of fatal crash-involved riders, little changed over the past 10 years. If the Motorcycle Industry Council's latest estimate that women are now 20% of motorcycle owners is accurate, they seem to be taking the sport up very capably.

Drinking

The continued decrease of drinking riders in the fatality data is good news. (The "rider drinking" row in the table above reports riders who either had a BAC more than 0 or were judged to have been drinking by the crash investigator.) Note that of those with reported BAC, half were in the highest group, .15+.

Motorcycles involved

Cruisers were the motorcycle style in the greatest percentage of fatal crashes again in 2017, at 40%, sportbikes slightly less at 36%, and touring bikes at 17%. Increasingly popular adventure bikes (hard to isolate because they are usually classified as "enduro" by NHTSA) were no more than 2%.

Trikes, which climbed sharply in fatal crash involvement for a few years, were unchanged in 2017. A majority of riders in these crashes are age 60+, and 20% were women.


Have a question about a factor I haven't mentioned, or about your state? Post it up and I'll dig up the answer if I can.

'Good advice'? - Cash's skydive adventure
James R. Davis
01/07/2019  7:21 PM
Here are a few more pictures of the skydive. They were taken by Cash's tandem partner.

This one shows the moment they exited the airplane:


Here they are in freefall (Cash is NOT Screaming - she was 'clearing her ears' ):


This was when the chute opened and the tandem partner was inspecting it:


Notice that the tandem partner had his arms extended - meaning that Cash was 'driving/controlling' the chute:


And this is the certificate she earned: (Please note the name of the company and their URL as we STRONGLY recommend them.)


This was a professional operation from start to finish. Enormous effort was made by them to explain everything (multiple times) and ensure that all aspects of the effort were competently inspected/assembled/utilized.

They took one or two people up on each flight, each with a seasoned/qualified tandem partner, and I think they made at least four trips a day (depending on the weather, of course).

That person who I described as the 'target' above was also a tandem partner. He got to the landing site about fifteen minutes before the plane flew over it, stuck a wind flag near where they were going to land, used a radio and communicated with the plane about the conditions of the site ("four-knot winds from South/Southeast, no obstructions."), then went out to where he thought they should land and waited for them.

They were not just accommodating, they were genuinely friendly. And two of them were motorcyclists!
'Good advice'? - Cash's skydive adventure
Eagle Six
01/06/2019  10:44 AM
Excellent jump report Cash, Thank You for posting. Not too short, not too long. It shows your passion, excitement and joy of the free fall and canopy decent. You also express inspiration for others who are interested in skydiving and remembrance for those few who have done it.

For me it's similar to riding, it never gets old, but I got comfortable and look forward to each jump whether free fall or static. And it proves adrenaline junkies never get old......well I'll reserve that 'old' statement for myself!

'Good advice'? - Cash's skydive adventure
Cash Anthony
01/05/2019  11:29 PM
These guys were the best! The company is called Skydive Galveston, and in every way, I felt my instructor, Simon Walton, was professional and caring. As I told him after we were down, he'd made me feel safe the whole way through.

His qualifications were also sterling. An Aussie, he said he'd been a naval parachutist and diver (similar to our navy SEALS, I think). Not only did he go step by step through explaining what he was doing to get me outfitted and ready for the jump, I also watched how carefully he checked the parachutes again just before we went up. And he strapped a life vest on me first, in case we landed in the drink. He also handed me a little white circle of candy wrapped in cellophane as we took off -- a Life Saver, in case I felt I needed one.

I never really felt scared, which surprised me. I was a little surprised when, just after we exited the plane, we did a flip so as to end up on our stomachs. I'm still not sure what direction we went to do that, but he'd warned me that it would happen.

Simon gave excellent instructions on the ground and assured me he'd remind me about them twice more, once in the plane and again as we were descending. He also said that, in the event I not only forgot everything he'd told me to do but somehow screwed it all up after he reminded me, he would still manage to get us both down safely. "It might be a bit more of a challenge," he said, "but I can handle it." (I didn't forget -- I wasn't sure how well I executed his instructions, but I definitely tried to.) He also managed to get video and still shots before and during the jump.

Besides feeling safe with a tandem jump, it was also fun when he let me "drive" the parachute so we could turn and see the ground from different angles.

The pilot said he'd heard a lot of people say the best part was the ascent in the plane, when they were able to look around. That wasn't true for me, because it was a gorgeous day and we could see more than 50 miles up and down the coast, and inland all the way to downtown Houston.

I have to say, I was shocked to see the video -- which no one else will see, for sure. I didn't realize how much one's skin would be flapping around when going that fast during free fall, nor how much mine would be plastered against the bones in my face. Many of the still photos, however, were excellent shots. I'll send them to Jim tomorrow -- had to hurry off to an event tonight.

It will amuse Jim to hear that, just as I felt ten feet tall when I got my motorcycle endorsement on my driver's license, I also found myself thinking about the several thousand people in the audience with me tonight -- and wondering how many had jumped out of a perfectly operational plane and called it fun.

We jumped at about 14,000 feet, according to the office manager. And yes, I would do it again in a heartbeat. But if I never get to do that, I'll always be glad I went up and then came down neither a pancake nor Jello this one time.
'Good advice'? - Cash's skydive adventure
James R. Davis
01/05/2019  9:06 PM
It was so bright today that I could not see any detail on my cell phone screen. Nevertheless, I took twenty-four pictures and only these six were any good. One of the 'bad' ones included my finger over the lens. Sue me.

She jumped from 14,000 feet.

I swear she was under parachute control for fifteen minutes but she insists that it was much shorter. I think she's right because her tandem partner, just before they took off, said he'd see me in thirty minutes on the ground, "or in twenty-five if the chute doesn't open."
'Good advice'? - Cash's skydive adventure
Eagle Six
01/05/2019  3:43 PM
Congratulations Cash, great job and landing on your butt when tandem is just as good as your feet.

Of hundreds of skydivers first time, I have only heard one tell me once was enough, all the rest were raring to do it again!
'Good advice'? - Cash's skydive adventure
James R. Davis
01/05/2019  2:42 PM
Yesterday the winds were too high again, but today it was perfect. Cash did her skydive this morning!

No matter how I tried to unnerve the girl, she toughed it out. Before she went up I asked her if she thought it was a more apt description to talk about the result of a failed chute opening in terms of pancakes or jello. She merely sneered.

Here she is preparing for the jump with her tandem jumper:


This is the first time I could see her canopy in the sky:


(In the original you can see a rainbow to the left of her.)

A little closer to the ground:


Approaching the beach where she landed:


Here she did a 180-degree turn on approach:


Finally, she VERY GENTLY lands (on her butt) :


You probably think she had been on the ground for some time when that picture was taken. Not at all. It was no more than FIVE SECONDS after they landed. The guy leaning toward the landers was apparently the 'target' - he was there, I think, in order to help prevent anybody doing a face-plant when they touched down. Both Cash's and her partner's legs were held horizontal when they landed - INTENTIONALLY on their butts.

She can't wait to do it again!!!
The annual Christmas Day ride
scottrnelson
12/25/2018  2:47 PM
Thought I would have to give this up after moving to Idaho, but the temperature got up to 40 today, the roads were clear and mostly dry, so I went out for half an hour or so.

Gotta keep up the Christmas traditions!

Merry Christmas, all of you.
Motorcycle Safety / Campfire chat
Reminiscing
rkfire
12/22/2018  12:54 PM
My most memorable trip was up in Ontario Canada, 2up, loaded up, for camping. It was up in the Georgian Bay area, a part of Lake Huron, 30 thousand islands. Far enough out away from everything, but only a couple hours ride to Barrie by way of back roads, and it being I guess a little under 2 hours from Toronto. The thing is, it rained several of the days, and the campground had red clay dirt roads. That red clay turned to slippery muck when wet. Every inch of that bike was full of clay, even after washing there, and again at home. Travelled several dirt roads, or gravel, but the best were paved roads up and down and winding through hilly areas. In the end, that muck, and rain actually made it memorable, just dealing with the weather and conditions with only a motorcycle and whatever clothes could be packed. The sort of thing you look back and chuckle. The little town of Port Parry nearby had enough entertainment, food, and touristy type things. What really amazed me was seeing a US Navy vessel at the big pier once I guess used for commercial ships. The US ship and crew were on a joint training exercise. Nice to see old glory flying on it. We caught a classic car meet there too, imagine pristine old cars in the Great White North, with all those salted roads.
Motorcycle Safety / General Discussion
A no-brainer
James R. Davis
12/19/2018  4:45 PM
Apparently some of you came to the conclusion that the civil case had no merit from the plaintiff's point of view and that the odds of winning the suit were essentially nil. So, I was asked, why was the suit filed at all?

I never met the plaintiff and didn't ask him, so I can only guess as to the answer to those questions.

1) If you elect to ride a motor vehicle of any kind, you NEED to have insurance!!! (In the case of a motorcycle, be sure it is full coverage so that you are covered in case you are struck by or hit an animal.) Anyway, you must NOT depend on a civil suit to win a large enough settlement to cover your medical bills, let alone damage to your bike. As this case demonstrated, the facts of the incident may be enough to assure that your recovery efforts are unsuccessful.

2) There are 'personal injury attorneys' that advertise on radio and TV claiming to be able to work miracles. (They never say that, but you get what I mean.) If you retain a law firm to file a suit for you, make sure that the attorney who works the case knows something about motorcycles - preferably a lot! Some law firms simply depend on a large number of cases where they win some and lose some to pay their bills. Those are NOT the kind of law firms you want on your side. You want a firm that will tell you honestly that you have a winnable case or not.
A no-brainer
James R. Davis
12/19/2018  1:20 PM
Some civil cases involving motorcyclist injury are reasonable, but require the employment of an attorney who at least understands the fundamentals. Then there are the no brainers - cases that simply should not exist at all.

Take for example one in which I was involved in as an expert witness where the facts as I learned them caused me to shake my head in disbelief because it was filed in the first place.

A relative newbie rider decided to buy a bike for himself. No MSF training, ever, no motorcycle endorsement, no safety gear of any kind - this person paid a friend for his bike and tried to ride it home.

He rode on busy country roads (two lanes in each direction) mid-morning (10:30) on a bright and cloudless day. He stayed in the right lane. Well, he stayed in that lane until he had to move to the left lane in order to pass the slower car in front of him in that right lane. In other words, he was speeding and driving aggressively and somewhat recklessly.

Funny thing then happened - he discovered that at 18-wheeler was across BOTH LANES ahead of him. That truck had made a complete stop at the intersection, then moved across the two-lane road as it positioned itself to make a left turn. The motorcyclist claimed that the truck did that almost instantaneously.

Well, not exactly. There were no visibility obstructions of any kind and the roadway was straight and level. In other words, the motorcyclist could see directly ahead of him for at least half a mile- but he (claimed that he) couldn't see that truck as it moved across two lanes. Other vehicles on the roadway saw it, but not the rider. Why? Because, according to the rider, he was 'momentarily distracted' looking down instead of ahead while he tried to capture a set of headphones that the wind had dislodged from his head and was dangling around his neck. When the rider looked up ("Only a moment later"), the truck was there and he couldn't do anything about it except, in his words, "Maybe lay the bike on its side and slide under it."

Instead of that, thankfully, the rider 'tapped a few times' on his rear brake because he feared being thrown over the handlebars if he had braked too hard. Yeah, that's what he said. Anyway, the motorcycle crashed into the rear wheel of the truck and was destroyed in the process. The motorcyclist was actually pretty lucky as he only had a broken leg, a messed up ankle, and severe road rash on his back and shoulder.

In the complaint filed to create the lawsuit, his attorney claimed that the impact was at 'substantial speed'. In deposition with me he did everything he could think of to get me to agree that the speed was 'modest'. His words came back to bite him, of course. ALL witnesses claimed that the motorcyclist was 'speeding', one even claimed it was at 'highway speed'.

It should not be a surprise that I claimed that the motorcyclist's use of his brakes was 'inneffective', but that attorney could not leave the subject alone. After I was able to discuss braking rates and included some testimony about 'G rates', the attorney totally lost it and displayed his total ignorance about acceleration and deceleration. He asked a question about whether or not his client could brake at EIGHT G's. When I explained that nobody, no motorcycle, no car, no anything had ever braked at 8 G's unless they had hit a brick wall, the attorney asked me how many G's a motorcycle is moving at when it's traveling at 35 MPH.

When I explained, again, that G's describe only acceleration and deceleration rates and that if the motorcycle was moving at a constant rate of speed of 35 MPH, then it would be experiencing exactly ZERO G's, the attorney asked his next question and demonstrated not one iota of understanding: "Well, then, what would his G rate be if he was traveling at 55 MPH?"

The case settled the next day. My guess is that the defendant got off relatively easy.
'Good advice'? - Cash's skydive adventure
Vlad
12/10/2018  6:19 AM
I also remember long waits for my first jump, the weather, than the plane maintenance, then weather again, plus usually it is doable only on weekends. I had at least 3-4 months of wait :)
While waiting for it to happen you do it many times in your head,
so when it gets to happen you are kind of experienced with less stress as you already done it :)
Motorcycle Safety / Campfire chat
Reminiscing
James R. Davis
12/08/2018  8:03 PM
I was passing the time of day thinking about some of the awesome touring rides that Cash and I made over the years across this great country.

One of those, in particular, stuck out pretty clearly. We rode from Houston, Texas to Pikes Peak in Colorado. And though visiting the mountaintop was a wonderful experience by itself, and riding down from there while it was snowing AND HAILING all the way to the bottom was 'interesting', I confess that it was the side trip to the Air Force Academy that was most memorable to me. I can think of no other word to describe how I felt while there than 'inspired'.

God bless America.
Motorcycle Safety / General Discussion
'Good advice'? - Cash's skydive adventure
James R. Davis
12/08/2018  7:51 PM
Friday was heavy rains - another delay.

It seems that the soonest Cash will be able to 'jump into the wind' will be early January.

I think part of the excitement is one delay after another.
'Good advice'? - Cash's skydive adventure
Alan_Hepburn
12/01/2018  5:45 PM
I've got somewhere around 25 static line jumps, and I got paid to do them! Of course we carried a ton of stuff with us, and there were a lot of us in the air at the same time! Now I'm content to let others pay to do it - the Army doesn't want me any more...
'Good advice'? - Cash's skydive adventure
Eagle Six
12/01/2018  2:39 PM
My first freefall jump was in a stripped out (to save weight) civilian Cessna 172, and I couldn't hardly wait to get out of that rattle trap, and I'm also a pilot with thousands of hours in little Cessna's and other fixed wings!

It's worth waiting for a good day, clear skies and low winds, especially for her first jump. Good Luck Cash and have an enjoyable flight.

I'll bet you a dozen donuts, when your feet are on the ground, and as soon as you unhook from the instructor, you will be ready to go again!!

'Good advice'? - Cash's skydive adventure
James R. Davis
12/01/2018  12:30 PM
Yesterday it was low cloud cover, today it was high winds.

Cash's jump is rescheduled for this coming Friday.
'Good advice'? - Cash's skydive adventure
DataDan
11/30/2018  8:16 PM
Good luck, Cash. You'll never get me to jump out of one of those things. And I'm still weeks away from 70.
The Remarkable Decline in Motorcycle Crash Rate
DataDan
11/30/2018  8:11 PM
In my post "Wrapping It Up" I suggested that the growing number of women riders could be a factor in reducing the crash rate:
quote:
Chief among those soft factors as I see it, is the broadening appeal of motorcycling into lower risk groups. The aging rider is evidence of that. The older we get, the less appealing physical risk becomes. Participation of women is another. While I have no data on the growing number of women in motorcycling (10% is a number I have heard but can't cite a source for), it is probably more than their 8% crash involvement in recent years.


This week, the Motorcycle Industry Council reported that women are now 19% of bike owners:


Motorcycle Industry Council Survey Reveals Continuing Shift in Rider Demographics

Nearly one in five motorcycle owners is now female, compared with one in 10 less than a decade ago, and the data suggests that women could soon make up one quarter of owners, which would be a major shift in motorcycling demographics, according to the latest national survey by the Motorcycle Industry Council.

Among all age groups, women now make up 19 percent of motorcycle owners. But the 2018 survey showed even greater female ownership within younger generations. Among Gen X motorcycle owners, 22 percent were women; among Gen Y, 26 percent were women.

"As the number of Boomer and mature motorcyclists shrink and are replaced by newer riders, we could soon be looking at a solid 25 percent of motorcycle owners being female," said Andria Yu, MIC director of communications. "We've seen with our own eyes many more women riders ? on the roads, on the trails, on the track, with families, at motorcycling events, forming clubs and just being part of everyday group rides. Many people in the industry have worked some 30 years to achieve this, and now the data confirms it: More and more women are getting out there and enjoying motorcycles."



A graphic that came with the news release shows that their surveys have found a steady increase from 10% in 2009 to 12% in 2012 and 14% in 2014.

From the NHTSA sample of motorcycle crashes used in this thread, women riders have been involved in 8.5% of crashes 2014-2016, substantially lower than their representation among owners. This data, then, does show that women are contribuing to the remarkable reduction in crash rate.
'Good advice'? - Cash's skydive adventure
James R. Davis
11/30/2018  4:16 PM
Yes. it's a tandem jump. I hear it's from 13,000 feet.

I'll let you know and will give her your support.
'Good advice'? - Cash's skydive adventure
onthebeach
11/30/2018  3:58 PM
My hat (helmet?) is off to someone with a fear of heights making a jump. I am guessing this will be a tandem jump so some freefall time to enjoy the view from above.

My first jump was static line so I had to climb out on my own. As soon as the door opened and I heard the sound and felt the wind my brain told me this was nuts and I should stay in the plane. But due to the repetitive training on the ground I followed commands and got out on the strut and let go when instructed. I have 100 jumps and enjoyed it. But a lot of standing around time compared to time in the air.

Follow up with a post to let us know how Cash enjoyed the jump.
'Good advice'? - Cash's skydive adventure
James R. Davis
11/30/2018  3:22 PM
Some of you may remember that my riding partner, Cash, when she began riding her own bike, experienced fear when riding over very high bridges.

Always wanting to be helpful, I made a suggestion to her and called it good advice: "Just close your eyes!"

Yep, she was the rider, not a co-rider, at the time. Yep, she ignored my advice. (Thankfully)

So, tomorrow morning on her 70th birthday, Cash is getting on a very, very high bridge and jumping off it. Well, it isn't a bridge, it's an airplane. She's decided to take up skydiving!!!

Our administrator here, Vladimir, is an experienced skydiver and has convinced her that the practice is safer than riding motorcycles. He's probably right.

My advice to her: "Just close your eyes!"

Wish her well.
Fatal Design Revisited
DataDan
11/29/2018  11:10 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Baggsy

Is it possible that one of the factors of light trucks being involved in more accidents, is simply them being a bigger target? They also take up more of the lane, so chances of a motorcycle squeezing between two trucks is less than it squeezing between two small cars.

Light trucks are actually involved in fewer motorcycle crashes than cars, but when they are in a crash, the motorcyclist is more likely to be killed. In 2016, they were involved in 33% fewer crashes but 10% more deaths.
Fatal Design Revisited
Baggsy
11/28/2018  8:40 PM
Is it possible that one of the factors of light trucks being involved in more accidents, is simply them being a bigger target? They also take up more of the lane, so chances of a motorcycle squeezing between two trucks is less than it squeezing between two small cars.

Odds and Ends / Testing place
migration test
Vlad
11/26/2018  8:55 PM


Image Test
migration test
Vlad
11/25/2018  4:26 PM
some text
Motorcycle Safety / General Discussion
Fatal Design Revisited
DataDan
11/23/2018  12:30 PM
quote:
Originally posted by bachman1961

I'd imagine in no small way, many of these bigger vehicles more popular on the roads these days (if not taking over) are more of a challenge in emergency maneuver's / accident avoidance or even stopping distance.

My newer car is just a tad over 3100#,and feels very fit and tidy on roads with nearly surgical response to input. My wife's daily ride and our 'family car' is a 4300# crossover or SUV (not sure), handles and rides very luxurious but certainly a far cry from responsive behaviors of smaller options.

To some degree, I suspect crashes will be less avoidable by this larger group on the roads just going by the physics involved.


While it seems likely that light trucks are involved in more crashes due to their inferior maneuverability--published braking distances are much longer, for example--I wasn't able to build a quantitative case. The problem is that exposure measurements aren't very good. Crashes can easily be compared by vehicle type, but not exposure by vehicle type.

However, I did do one narrow comparison: rear-endER crashes--hitting the vehicle ahead--vs rear-endEE crashes--getting hit from behind. Using the ratio of the two kinds of crashes effectively takes exposure into account. Then, if light truck braking were a significant factor, they would be more likely to hit a motorcycle from behind than would a car. That's not how it worked out, though. In fact, the two ratios were very close (and the motorcycle was one-third more likely to be the striking vehicle).

Fatal Design Revisited
bachman1961
11/23/2018  3:40 AM
Interesting trends.
I always appreciate the topics you take on and all the leg work associated. Somehow I feel safer reading this stuff as if I know what's going to try to get me. Well, definitely not WHEN but on the bike, it all helps defy mind drift and keep a tight rein on concentration.

I'd imagine in no small way, many of these bigger vehicles more popular on the roads these days (if not taking over) are more of a challenge in emergency maneuver's / accident avoidance or even stopping distance.
My newer car is just a tad over 3100#,and feels very fit and tidy on roads with nearly surgical response to input. My wife's daily ride and our 'family car' is a 4300# crossover or SUV (not sure), handles and rides very luxurious but certainly a far cry from responsive behaviors of smaller options.
To some degree, I suspect crashes will be less avoidable by this larger group on the roads just going by the physics involved.
Motorcycle Safety / Sharing of Lessons Learned
First deer sighting on the bike;
bachman1961
11/23/2018  2:45 AM
Doing a stoppie or almost is solid proof you are proficient in emergency braking and used the braking power at full potential. Great job there.
Thanks for the note on insurance - did not know that.

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