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 NMI - Just how dangerous is it?
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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17343 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 06/17/2019 :  9:29 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend                        Like
The National Motorcycle Institute (NMI) published an article in June of 2018 that should scare the daylights out of you as riders. Instead of being a biased (for or against) opinion piece, this uses science to analyze data to draw its conclusions. And those conclusions are AWESOME!

They show that in the United States, on a Vehicle Miles Driven basis, motorcycle riders have a greater than 38 (THIRTY EIGHT!!!) times higher fatality expectation than do automobile drivers. You are 38 times more likely to DIE from riding a motorcycle than driving an automobile.

Did that get your attention?

See the article here:
https://www.motorcycleinstitute.org...-told-me.pdf

I have the highest regard possible for the folks at NMI. This paper is an example of why that's so.

In the 38 motorcycle civil cases I've worked as an expert witness, I found that in ONLY ONE case the motorcyclist did not in any way contribute to the cause of the accident - JUST ONE!!!

Note, that does not mean that motorcyclists CAUSED the accidents (though in several cases they did), just that their behaviors contributed to that cause or to the severity of injuries that resulted.

We can do better than that. And the MSF can do a lot more to help reduce motorcycle 'accidents' than simply teaching 'fundamentals'. SAFETY is in their name - but SALES would be more meaningful.

rkfire
Advanced Member
1716 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Posted - 06/18/2019 :  3:46 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Somehow I survived. Imagine 35 years in the construction business of one sort or another, and full time firefighter. I wonder what the death rate of those, compared to say an office job. AND I rode a motorcycle all those years and then some too.

There are parallels in them all too, in that, whether construction, firefighting, or motorcycling, it was learn as you go for me, back in the day. A little different these days.


It took me a few incidents in each to appreciate the danger. Luckily fairly minor ones.


I agree that the MSF should go well beyond what they do in the Basic Class, especially here where the State has mandated all license testing is to be done in the class. No more inspectors to watch riders challenge the skills test.


I had a hunch the extra layer and cost of the MSF class would hinder new riders. There is one big parking lot of a closed factory near me, that they use for the class and there's been some weekends I see no bikes or newbies at all.


I have another hunch. Up here, a lot of new riders are just not bothering to get their M endorsement. It apparently isn't much of a fine, isn't much enforced. I know some of them, and apparently the bike can be registered and insured, even when the owner has no endorsement. Seems odd to me.


It's a small state, so, not sure accident and death rates will show as a trend.
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DataDan
Advanced Member
578 Posts
[Mentor]


Central Coast, CA
USA

Yamaha

FJR1300

Posted - 06/19/2019 :  8:00 PM
I'm going to refrain for commenting on the organization and the paper any further than I did in this thread from last year: Nobody Told Me That Motorcycles Are So Dangerous
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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17343 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 06/19/2019 :  8:20 PM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Maybe it's just my old age, but I confess that I'd forgotten about that old thread.

Further, I found that NMI paper recently and thought, incorrectly, that it was published this month rather than last year. I even edited my post here and added the 2018 date when I realized my error.

In any event, what seems to you to be an inappropriate indicator of danger that they relied upon, VMD, I wonder if you would be so kind as to dissuade me of its significance. It 'seems' a valid perspective, so what am I missing?

That, I hasten to add, is not an idle or merely courteous request for your feedback, Dan. In our two decades of existence there has never been a member here who has so conistently posted valuable insights and analysis with verifiable data backing up those insights than you. (Thank you, again.)
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DataDan
Advanced Member
578 Posts
[Mentor]


Central Coast, CA
USA

Yamaha

FJR1300

Posted - 06/20/2019 :  9:33 AM
quote:
Originally posted by James R. Davis

In any event, what seems to you to be an inappropriate indicator of danger that they relied upon, VMD, I wonder if you would be so kind as to dissuade me of its significance. It 'seems' a valid perspective, so what am I missing?

I agree with their assessment of rider risk, and I agree with their use of fatalities per vehicle-mile traveled as a metric. On average, we motorcyclists are indeed 38 times as likely to die per mile traveled as car drivers are.

My objections start with their use of motorcycle fatalities per million population, what they call "motorcycle societal danger", in a scary graph purporting to show "an alarming doubling of the motorcycle crash fatality rate of 20 years ago". Deaths per population is NOT a measure of motorcycling risk; it's a measure of motorcycling "burden on society". It has doubled over the past 20 years because the sport has doubled--twice as many riders, twice as many miles ridden.

In fact, the motorcyclist fatality rate (per billion vehicle-miles) is about 20% higher than it was 20 years ago but 45% LOWER than 30 years ago. Further discussion of that difference might be interesting, but the point is that motorcycling is not much more dangerous today than in the past.

I object also to their demonizing of training:

Every state has shown a dramatic increase in motorcycle crash fatalities whenever beginner motorcycle "safety" training has become popular. There are no exceptions.
They offer no evidence for that claim, and I haven't found any elsewhere. The assertion that teaching people how to ride motorcycles causes motorcycle crashes makes as much sense as saying that teaching people how to ski causes skiing mishaps or that teaching people how to write causes spelling errors.


In other threads over the past year I believe I have shown that motorcycling crash risk (not fatality risk) has fallen considerably over the past 30 years--we are less likely to crash per mile ridden than we were in the 1980s. For whatever reason, we've become better riders. But at the same time, lethality--the likelihood of death in the event of a crash--has increased. That I attribute to age and sharing the road vehicles that are less crash-friendly.

quote:
That, I hasten to add, is not an idle or merely courteous request for your feedback, Dan. In our two decades of existence there has never been a member here who has so conistently posted valuable insights and analysis with verifiable data backing up those insights than you. (Thank you, again.)


And thank you.
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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17343 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 06/20/2019 :  11:05 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Bravo, sir. Again you have demonstrated why your presence here is so much appreciated.

Like you, I find the concept of 'motorcycle societal danger' to be specious and unfounded. But, unlike you, I am of the opinion that riding has become more dangerous than it was in the past. By past, I mean recent years ago.

A few years ago there were NO automobile (or truck) drivers texting or reading smartphone messages while 'controlling' their vehicles. Speed limits are often higher commensurate with increased traffic densities. And yes, we are getting older - meaning our reaction speeds and responses are less and less adequate.

But besides those things mentioned above, there are some constants that remain ignored by those teaching 'motorcycle safety'. The single most frequent cause of student injury during training is the result of dropping a bike. Though the MSF has known this for DECADES, they REFUSE to teach students how to get away from a falling bike without ending up under it and remaining on their feet.

I believe that the MSF beginner rider classes are modestly better than they have been, particularly with their newfound emphasis on attitude, but SELLING MOTORCYCLES should not be part of motorcycle safety training. The inclusion of a tour of a Harely-Davidson sales floor as part of the Rider's Edge curriculum is an obvious example of that.
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6925 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 1090 Adv R

Posted - 06/21/2019 :  5:50 AM
quote:
Originally posted by James R. Davis

Like you, I find the concept of 'motorcycle societal danger' to be specious and unfounded. But, unlike you, I am of the opinion that riding has become more dangerous than it was in the past. By past, I mean recent years ago.

A few years ago there were NO automobile (or truck) drivers texting or reading smartphone messages while 'controlling' their vehicles. Speed limits are often higher commensurate with increased traffic densities. And yes, we are getting older - meaning our reaction speeds and responses are less and less adequate.
I think I would qualify this as riding being more dangerous "in town". I don't see drivers using cell phones out on the highways and especially the remote roads that I try to seek out where there usually is no cell phone reception.

I'm about to leave for a 600 mile round trip to another state and I'll try to keep track of any cell phone usage that I observe on the freeways - to see if my past observations are accurate.

I absolutely agree that way too many drivers in town are staring at their phones while driving.
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bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2270 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 07/13/2019 :  3:16 AM
I salute you all for safe riding, riding in traffic, commuting and being active here to keep up the good work (posts and info). Good to see many of the same names, avatars or faces - lol.

Just wanted to drop in and say Hello.
Been off the m/c for a while but haven't lost the love. Just busy at work, home and at play with grandpa daycare a few weekdays and 4 grandkids these days. Still full time at the work place on nights.

I'll get back to perusing and restocking my tool box of good input and refreshers here. My bike is fully gassed, and charged at all times to go anytime, just have been buried in other things and my brain has to re-up the whole m/c thing. I have to get my head back in the game as it's been out of that particular loop for a while.

On topic of stats mentioned, Colorado Springs has had a rough few years with traffic deaths. Cars and occupant not wearing seatbelts accounted for many, pedestrian or bicycle versus car were up and lately, m/c crashes or fatalities and a few recent as single vehicle are ticking up. Biker on a curve / curb as single and non-helmet a few weeks ago and tonight coming to work, I was diverted to a re-route for Police activity and blocking the road.
Thought it was crime related like some Bozo on the loose but sadly, a group of riders out where one hit a curb on a turn, was thrown and updated news states they died. Rider was wearing a helmet.

I used to be much better and on top of the numbers locally and am humbled to say I've lost touch. Part of it is the happy life of being somewhat distant from everyday news.

I haven't been too distant from the dangers, scrapes and minor injuries of bicycling the trails here but it's the adventure and fitness that keeps me going. I should be too embarrassed to be out there with a ratio of crashes more so than any respectable 58 year-old should allow but NOPE !

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