Ages of motorcycle fatalities on the rise [Archive] - Glock Talk

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RBR
01-22-2005, 09:32
Use to be that your insurance premiums went down when you became older and wiser but I guess that will change. In my neck of the woods Harley riders seem to feel that hitting Ice Houses is what motorcycling is all about. I never understood this mentality but then again I ride a FZ1.

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Ages of motorcycle fatalities on the rise
As more older riders take to the road, the number of deaths among them has tripled

By DAVID SHARP
Associated Press

PORTLAND, MAINE - Mike Cullinan made a midlife course correction, breaking up with his girlfriend and buying himself a big Harley-Davidson motorcycle: a 620-pound Dyna Low Rider with a 1,450-cc, fuel-injected engine.

Lots of baby boomers and middle-age Americans such as 38-year-old Cullinan are getting motorcycles. And now, as a result, riders 40 and over are accounting for an alarming number of motorcycling deaths.

Safety experts suspect older riders with a lot of disposable income are buying more machine than their bodies can handle.

Across the country, the annual number of motorcycle fatalities among 40-plus riders tripled over the past decade to 1,674 in 2003, while deaths among riders under 30 dropped slightly to 1,161, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

According to NHTSA, the average age of motorcyclists killed in accidents rose from 32 in 1994 to 38 in 2003.

"It's really kind of astonishing. The ages of these fatalities are so high. You would think it would be all of the young kids on those fast bikes, but it's not," said Carl Hallman, highway safety coordinator with the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The surge in deaths among older riders helped to push motorcycle fatalities higher overall. They jumped by nearly half during the past five years, from 2,483 in 1999 to 3,661 in 2003.

"From a career standpoint, they have a little extra time and a little extra disposable income. The kids have grown up, so they're looking for hobbies," said Rae Tyson, an NHTSA spokesman who specializes in motorcycle safety.

Big, powerful bikes appear to be part of the reason why so many older riders are dying. NHTSA data show that both engine size and deaths among riders with the largest class of engines rose during the past decade.

NHTSA figures also show that riders in their 30s and 40s who died were more likely than their younger counterparts to have been drinking.

In addition, safety experts say many older riders are either returning to motorcycling after many years or are trying it for the first time.

"They haven't ridden in 20 or 30 years, so their skills are rusty. Motorcycles have changed, and they're getting bigger motorcycles. And they're getting on without a refresher course," said Cathy Rimm, program director for Motorcycle Rider Education of Maine, a nonprofit organization that offers safety training.

Finally, safety officials point out that older riders' eyesight and reflexes are not what they once were.

"In our experienced-rider courses, we do take into account the way your body changes, that your reaction time will change and that your eyesight will change," said Mike Mount, spokesman for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation in Irvine, Calif.

Cullinan, a repair shop manager from Standish, has not ridden for 15 years. He just spent more than $18,000 on his black lowrider with chrome.

Cullinan said his eyes were opened by the statistics. He has bought a helmet, which is not required in Maine, and is taking a refresher course this winter.

beemerphile
01-22-2005, 14:51
Originally posted by RBR
Big, powerful bikes appear to be part of the reason why so many older riders are dying. NHTSA data show that both engine size and deaths among riders with the largest class of engines rose during the past decade.

NHTSA has been misconstruing statistics since their beginning. The new oldies aren't dying because of the "big powerful" bikes. They are dying at speeds a Honda 90 could attain with alcohol in their bodies and either toy helmets or bandannas on their heads.

Bullwinkle J Moose
01-23-2005, 08:49
Perhaps the largest cause for this shift in age of motorcycling deaths is the fact that many new motorcyle riders regardless of age are ill equipped mentally for the challenge and responsibility of keeping themselves safe. (I am NOT saying they are stupid, but they do not understand the realities of safe motorcycling.) Given that older folks are buying more bikes, it should be a somewhat expected result that a greater percentage of older riders will die.

One just cannot hop on a bike and rely on driving skills acquired over years of driving in a cage to keep one safe, but that does not stop people from doing just that. People who do this are biting off more than they can chew and they are paying the price for their inexperience and naivete. While there are some safe driving strategies common to bike and cage driving, one’s vulnerability while driving a bike requires a lot of entirely different safe driving skills and strategies.

Texas T
01-23-2005, 19:20
One point that everyone seems to be overlooking is that while there are more actual deaths, how many more people in the upper age brackets are now riding compared to ten years ago?

If deaths have increased by 10% but riders in those age groups have increased by 50% is there really a problem?

fnfalman
01-24-2005, 09:09
It's just like everything else. If people have more balls than brains then they deserve what they've got. I'm not talking about flukes and accidents where nothing could prevent it.

Riding without protective gears, riding too aggressively for skills, riding too aggressive of a vehicle for skills, etc. They all got what's coming to them. The screwed up part is that they might take me out with them.

Just yesterday, I was out riding. Two motorcycles coming from the opposite lane: a crotch rocket and a cruiser. I waved to them and the cruiser guy waved back. Guess what the crotch rocket rider did? Popped a wheelie in traffic. What is it with the freaking wheelies while riding in traffic?

skorpio
01-26-2005, 17:17
Pardon me, sir. I believe what you are referring to is some young (whether actual or just mental) person on a sport bike popping a wheelie in traffic. Which I do not condone.

A "crotch rocket" is what your significant other uses while you're away.;)



I am a sport bike rider, and personally detest hearing the term "crotch rocket". I am also a courteous rider, wear full gear, and take my aggressive riding to the track, not to the local boulevard to show off.

Dandapani
01-26-2005, 17:51
Just take a look at the brand names on a row of motorcycles parked out in front of any random bar... 9 out of ten bikes will be HD.

fnfalman
01-26-2005, 17:51
Lighten up about the crotch rocket. It's an accepted moniker for a certain type of motorcycle. I've barely had my motorcycle for a month and people already called it a crotch rocket even though it's nowhere close to being one.

beemerphile
01-26-2005, 18:07
I think my old BMW R100RT is more of a "Crotch Camel" than a "Crotch Rocket". It has a whopping 65 horsepower but with a 10 gallon Heinrich gas tank and a custom leather Russell seat, it's a 1,000+ mile-a-day all day sucker. Couldn't outrun a well-tuned Maverick Grabber, but it's run 116,000 trouble free miles so far. Everywhere from Puget Sound to Labrador. One day I too may get "taken out" on it and become another old dead ghost rider for NHTSA to cipher erroneous statistics about, but it won't be because I was drunk, stupid, improperly dressed, or riding beyond my abilities. - Lee

skorpio
01-28-2005, 17:06
Originally posted by fnfalman
Lighten up about the crotch rocket. It's an accepted moniker for a certain type of motorcycle.

Oh really. Accepted by who? Not me apparently. I hate being lumped in with the assorted idiots who seem to dominate the type of motorcycle I have chosen to ride, and seem to feel it is their duty in life to show off in traffic and at the mall for all the adolescent girls to be impressed by. If you want to do wheelies, stoppies, standing on the tank, feet over the front windscreen, sitting backwards, --whatever--, go someplace away from the public and get your jollies. County airstrips, old dragstrips, abandoned parking lots, ect. And when you crash, and you will, you pay for it, not claim it on your insurance so we all suffer 'cause YOU'RE A FREAKING MORON WHO LIKE TO STUNT! Show offs fall off.

:soap:

Personally, I don't feel we have many of those on this forum, but the subject really gets my undies in a knot.

Texas T
01-28-2005, 20:09
Originally posted by beemerphile
Couldn't outrun a well-tuned Maverick Grabber
You're showing your age, Lee. But I guess I am too if I'm calling you on it. ;f

beemerphile
01-28-2005, 20:31
Originally posted by Texas T
You're showing your age, Lee. But I guess I am too if I'm calling you on it. ;f
I'd say that's right, bud. Love your Hillary tag line. - Lee

H.I.M
01-30-2005, 11:53
[QUOTE]Originally posted by dmobrien2001
Just take a look at the brand names on a row of motorcycles parked out in front of any random bar... 9 out of ten bikes will be HD.

And your point is what?


Stop into the store at Deals Gap and look at the Wall of Shame....99.5% of the pictures on the wall are of sport bike riders that bit it.

Facts are facts......ignorance kills. It knows no brand of motorcycle.

Dan

quinch
01-31-2005, 23:59
Oh really. Accepted by who?

Oh, like me. And everyone I know.
Including the crotch-rocket-riding friends of mine. We ride together now and then, they lose me in the twisty spots, but I'm ready to go another 200 miles when they want to go home. :cool:
One of these days I'm going to get a crotch rocket as a second bike just for kicks.


Lighten up Francis.