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Thread: Riding

  1. #1
    Moondog
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  2. #2
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    Direct costs from deaths and injuries due to motorcycle crashes were $16 billion in 2010, but the full cost is likely higher because long-term medical expenses are difficult to measure, a government report said.


    OK, that's a lot of money we're contributing to our health care industry.
    14 R1200GSA, 93 R100R. No car is as fun to drive as any motorcycle is to ride.

  3. #3
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    OK - you opened the door, so I'll step in for a moment - then run for cover.

    As a professional motorcycle instructor, the whole "debate" over mandatory helmet use is vexing.

    I did however take note of the analogy from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, that education alone is hardly the answer. They mentioned that "What.....because you took a driver's ed course, you now no longer need to wear a seatbelt?"

    Federal government thought otherwise. Under threat of withholding federal highway funds, 49 states now maintain some variation of mandatory seatbelt laws, and New Hampshire has them for under the age of 18.

    I speak from experience since I was in law enforcement thru those transitional years - didn't matter whether you began wearing a seatbelt because it made sense or because you feared enforcement consequences, death and serious injruies declined. Go figure.

    Mandatory helmet use seems a bit more inflamatory an issue - infringes on our "right" to die or be rendered vegatative from most head injuries.

    For now, it's a moot point - the NTSB threw in the towel and no longer rattle their sabers over denying funding for road repairs, bridge replacement, etc. in exchange for universal helmet use. And I do question whether or not a fatal crash averages $1.2 million.

    But with legions of lawyers out there to make sure that no matter what happens to us, it's somebody else's fault and they must pay, should costs continue to skyrocket, the feds may again realign their priorities.

    We already have a perception problem with the general public, who vote in far greater numbers than we do. They think we're reckless and/or obnoxious. Some of us are. But I think most (certainly in the BMW demographic) are more orientated towards safety.

    Nothing gives a better first impression to the non-riding public than going past them wearing a helmet. It's the ultimate PR tool for our chosen form of transportation.

    Think your chances in a crash scenario are better sans helmet? I don't even have an intelligent comeback for that.

    But money talks, and if cycle crash dollars keep climbing, a majority opinion will rule.

    I think a combination of educating the public, the rider and always wearing a helmet would ultimately benefit the motorcycling community.

    Give it some thought - perhaps worthy of a New Year's resolution?!
    Last edited by Greenwald; 11-29-2012 at 04:11 PM.
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    Motorcycle & High Performance Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  4. #4
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    Hi-Viz Clothing

    I recently switched from an old First Gear black-and-grey riding suit to a Hi-Viz jacket and a Hi-Viz Shoei helmet. Since doing that, I've had at least two motorists (at gas stops) come up to me and say, "I wish all motorcyclists would wear that stuff."

    Black doesn't show oil, grease, road grime. . .and is also damn near invisible to distracted motorists, and baby, they are ALL distracted. IMHO, the seat of a moving motorcycle is NOT the place to issue a "fashion statement." [That said, I do wear a black leather suit every so often. Hey, it looks cool!]

    Walking Eagle

  5. #5
    Moondog
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    OK - you opened the door, so I'll step in for a moment - then run for cover.

    As a professional motorcycle instructor, the whole "debate" over mandatory helmet use is vexing.

    I did however take note of the analogy from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, that education alone is hardly the answer. They mentioned that "because you take a driver's ed course, you now no longer need to wear a seatbelt?"

    Federal government thought otherwise. Under threat of withholding federal highway funds, 49 states now maintain mandatory seatbelt laws, and New Hampshire has them for under the age of 18.

    I speak from experience since I was in law enforcement thru those transitional years - didn't matter whether you began wearing a seatbelt because it made sense or because you feared enforcement consequences, death and serious injruies declined. Go figure.

    Mandatory helmet use seems a bit more inflamatory an issue - infringes on our "right" to die or be rendered vegatative from most head injuries.

    For now, it's a moot point - the NTSB threw in the towel and no longer rattle their sabers over denying funding for road repairs, bridge replacement, etc. in exchange for universal helmet use. And I do question whether or not a fatal crash averages $1.2 million.

    But with legions of lawyers out there to make sure that no matter what happens to us, it's somebody else's fault and they must pay, should costs continue to skyrocket, the feds may again realign their priorities.

    We already have a perception problem with the general public, who vote in far greater numbers than we do. They think we're reckless and/or obnoxious. Some of us are. But I think most (certainly in the BMW demographic) are more orientated towards safety.

    Nothing gives a better first impression to the non-riding public than going past them wearing a helmet. It's the ultimate PR tool for our chosen form of transportation.

    Think your chances in a crash scenario are better sans helmet? I don't even have an intelligent comeback for that.

    But money talks, and if cycle crash dollars keep climbing, a majority opinion will rule.

    I think a combination of educating the public, the rider and always wearing a helmet would ultimately benefit the motorcycling community.

    Give it some thought - perhaps worthy of a New Year's resolution?!
    I'm already under the covers!

  6. #6
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by moondog View Post
    I'm already under the covers!
    No kidding.

    Even the mere whisper of mandatory helmet use around here can exile you to the Witness Protection Program.
    Last edited by Greenwald; 11-29-2012 at 01:12 AM.
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
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  7. #7
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walking Eagle View Post
    I recently switched from an old First Gear black-and-grey riding suit to a Hi-Viz jacket and a Hi-Viz Shoei helmet. Since doing that, I've had at least two motorists (at gas stops) come up to me and say, "I wish all motorcyclists would wear that stuff."

    Black doesn't show oil, grease, road grime. . .and is also damn near invisible to distracted motorists, and baby, they are ALL distracted. IMHO, the seat of a moving motorcycle is NOT the place to issue a "fashion statement." [That said, I do wear a black leather suit every so often. Hey, it looks cool!]

    Walking Eagle
    +1

    Exactly my way of thinking: making yourself more visible to other motorists not only helps improve your odds, it helps those other motorists avoid hurting you, and they do appreciate that.

    Harry
    2003 R1150RT - Silver

  8. #8
    Moondog
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    Quote Originally Posted by aksuited View Post
    +1

    exactly my way of thinking: Making yourself more visible to other motorists not only helps improve your odds, it helps those other motorists avoid hurting you, and they do appreciate that.

    Harry
    1+

  9. #9
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsuited View Post
    +1

    Exactly my way of thinking: making yourself more visible to other motorists not only helps improve your odds, it helps those other motorists avoid hurting you, and they do appreciate that.

    Harry
    Of course there's another thread nearby with the premise that they're deliberately out to get you. Making oneself more visible maybe only helps them.

    Wonder how many times anyone's seen a guy in a high-viz jacket but no helmet?

    No, high-viz is a diversion and the real issue will again be helmets and whether there are any reliable statistics proving the cost to society of allowing such silliness. Given the economy, this is really just another "entitlement" that might be looked at.
    Kent Christensen
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  10. #10
    Caribbean Druid
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    You want something that will make your brain explode? Try this...

    Around here (Florida), we often see riders wearing a hi-vis t-shirt or vest, over their tank top, shorts and flip-flops. I can't even begin to explain that kind of convoluted thinking...

  11. #11
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by dwestly View Post
    You want something that will make your brain explode? Try this...

    Around here (Florida), we often see riders wearing a hi-vis t-shirt or vest, over their tank top, shorts and flip-flops. I can't even begin to explain that kind of convoluted thinking...
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    Motorcycle & High Performance Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  12. #12
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwestly View Post
    You want something that will make your brain explode? Try this...

    Around here (Florida), we often see riders wearing a hi-vis t-shirt or vest, over their tank top, shorts and flip-flops. I can't even begin to explain that kind of convoluted thinking...
    I think I can explain it. Those riders are SURE they will do nothing that causes a crash. Hence, if other drivers see them, they won't cause a crash either. Therefore, no need for protective garments.

    I've come off the bike twice. Once was on a rain-slick road where my entry to a turn was slow, but not slow enough. No other motorist involved. The other involved another rider losing traction on a passing lane where the winter sand had not been removed. We both did our best and it was not good enough.

    He was judged at fault (though in my opinion the road crew were the real culprits) and I received a few thousand dollars for the bike and physio.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  13. #13
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    16 billion dollars in one year? A fatal accident costs an average of 1.2 million dollars?

    Even without arguing with the figures, I would suggest the majority of that money is paid out by insurance companies who make a nice profit. We are not talking about taxpayer dollars, right? It's mostly our insurance dollars.

    I just don't understand riders who chose to ride without either a fullface or flipup helmet. They provide the greatest comfort as well as the best protection in a get-off. And this is not mandated where helmets are required. So I see the point of those opposed to mandatory helmets since pretty useless ones are legal.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  14. #14
    iscream-stop
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    The funny thing is, I have so many family and friends who ride and all wear full face helmets. The one quote I have heard from all is "after I got hit in face with that, I can not understand how anyone would not wear a full face helmet!"
    How many accidents are caused by a rider getting hit by something and either knocked out or just silly enough to crash?
    I can not help but laugh when I see some "COOL" guy getting plastered by rain, squinting from wind, sunburnt, ETC. because they are too cool for a helmet. and when the cooler temps hit, all those guys that strap all kinds of crap to their faces to protect from cold because thats better and quicker than putting on a helmet.
    Sorry little off topic.

  15. #15
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Honestly, this battle has been lost to the folks that demand the right to incur head trauma. No amount of logic can ever change their core belief that they have a divine / constitutional right to a pointless level of risk that others will pay for.
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

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