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Andy VH
Where is the earth shattering kaboom!?



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   Posted 8/11/2011 9:29 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Well, according to this flawed comparison: http://www.thestreet.com/story/11204953/3/the-safest-states-for-motorcycles.html , Wisconsin doesn't even rank in the top ten. Funny too, that Wisconsin for the last almost 20 years has consistently had the highest number of high mileage riders in the annual BMW Owners Club annual mileage contest, beating out states like California, Texas, Georgia, New York and Pennsylvania. Plus Wisconsin has a high number of HD riders. Seems the comparison would make more sense based on the number of registrations, versus the number of miles ridden, versus the total road user density (that being cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, etc). This comparison focuses on number of cycle registrations versus helmet laws. Now, in my mind anyone that rides without a helmet obviously doesn't have much between ears to protect anyway, but I far prefer a state that focuses on rider training rather than mandatory helmet use laws.
 
But, this again is a typical media report of statistics, which in my opinion is more slanted toward helmet laws. Instead why not compare the data against when the respective states enacted effective safety training programs while recording increasing motorcycle registrations. Call me stupid, but wouldn't that have as much bearing on the results as which state had mandatory helmet laws and how long that law was in effect. Granted, if the stats are based on FATALITIES alone, then yes the results will be slanted towards helmet laws because more fatalities occur when the riders are not wearing a helmet (duh!).
 
What I also don't like about the article is the cliche' comments about a biker on a Harley wearing cut-off shorts and other stupid comments. Clearly not written from the viewpoint of an actual rider. Seems these "reports" are never written by actual riders with many years experience and tons of miles under their butts. Of course, those people are actually out riding instead of wasting good time writing about it.


Training, the best safety and performance "equipment" you can get!
Get MSF trained, check out: http://www.msf-usa.org
 

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DataDan
Rodent Of Unusual Size



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   Posted 8/11/2011 10:24 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
See my comment (top of the list at the moment, with 3 "likes" yeah). The numbers they report for "motorcyclist fatalities" are simply wrong. For example, they say that their #1 state, North Dakota, had 135 motorcyclist deaths in 2009. That's all traffic deaths for the state. ND had only 7 motorcyclist deaths in 2009. rolleyes
 
It's a pretty dopey way of ranking anyway: "We ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia to see which ones had the smallest proportion of motorcycle deaths as a proportion of total traffic deaths." You make some good suggestions about better ways of ranking, few of which are possible with the available data. Based on fatality rate per registered motorcycle for the years 2004-2009, Minnesota is #1 and Wisconsin #4. That's a little unfair, though, due to the limited riding season for y'all up there on the polar ice cap. Counting only deaths April to September, well, it's the same. So the rate really needed is per mile traveled, which is hard to obtain because it requires a survey of riders, not just a count of registrations. 


A superior rider uses superior judgment to avoid problems that would demand his superior skill.

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Andy VH
Where is the earth shattering kaboom!?



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   Posted 8/15/2011 2:38 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.

I like your numbers better to show Wisconsin as the #4 safest. Also, the MSF has now decided the Wisconsin cycle safety training program is the model for all 50 states. Hopefully the work and efforts of all the MSF instructors around the states is having some positive impact.

But exactly right Dan. It again shows where nearly every single one of these "statistical surveys" is nothing but a twisted viewpoint that no one can really use to make any rational judgement from. However, when the non-riding public reads this sort of article and complains to their state legislators about the need for whatever laws, this and similar articles are what sway their decisions.

Registrations per year is the usual data because like you point out it is the most easily accessed. Too bad no one has conducted a survey to compare miles ridden per registration per fatalities. For instance 20,000 registered riders, riding 2,000 miles each per year (40,000,000 miles total), with 150 fatalities. That produces 0.00000375 fatalities per total miles ridden, or one fatality per every 266,666.6 total miles ridden. Pretty good looking number really. Or another state, 40,000 registered riders riding 3,000 miles per year, same 150 fatalities (produces 120,000,000 miles total), produces one fatality per 800,000 miles ridden, or 0.00000125 fatality per total miles ridden. With that kind of review, it would look like we have a very small problem fatality wise, and the public would not pay attention. 

The general public won't relate to those kinds of numbers. So any media report has to be evaluated for what it really shows. We the riding public have to make sure its understood. We as experienced riders have the best opportunity to educate our riding and non-riding contacts about the real issues regarding rider safety. Granted, any cycle rider fatality is terrible, and far more than just numbers. Yet, we are responsible for our own survival. Just that some of us are much better at it than others.

As to the north central states, I do know that for certain cycle brands, us up here in the great north ride more miles per year on average than many fellow riders in more weather friendly states. It would be interesting to record annual miles ridden per total active motorcycle licensed riders per state for all 50 states. I think the results may show a skew toward the upper central states slightly over the typical states like California which actually have a higher cycle license ratio per capita.


Training, the best safety and performance "equipment" you can get!
Get MSF trained, check out: http://www.msf-usa.org
 

Post Edited (Andy VH) : 8/15/2011 9:45:15 PM GMT

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TravelerKLK
2009 Rocket 3 Touring

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   Posted 8/15/2011 8:06 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I find this a fallacious inquiry regardless of the statistics used.

If one is ranking the states as far as motorcyclist safety goes, then one is making the correlation/assumption that something in the laws of the higher ranking states keeps motorcyclists safer than laws in the states with higher fatality rankings. That's simply a fallacy. There is no set of laws that will keep motorcyclists safer than any other. If you are relying on the laws of the state you ride in to keep you safe, your days upright on 2 wheels are numbered.

However, having said that, a simple correlation of accidents/injuries/fatalities (choose one or more) per 100,000 miles ridden IN THE STATE (not per registration) will equalize results across state lines and will take into account the disparities in riding season length. If it doesn't produce significant enough numbers, do it per 10,000 miles, or 1,000 miles - just keep moving the decimal point over and the number grow in (apparent) significance!


--Trav
 
"Man's mind, stretched by a new idea, never goes back to its original dimensions."
 
                                                                                O.W.H., JR.

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Andy VH
Where is the earth shattering kaboom!?



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   Posted 8/16/2011 7:09 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Exactly right and I agree about the fallacy of some statistics showing any correlation to how safe any state is for cycle riding versus any other state.

The ONLY, REAL effective motorcycle safety tool is right between the riders ears. That is where cycle riding safety starts and ends. No laws, mandatory or otherwise will change that because only the rider's attitude about his/her risk acceptance and honest evaluation of their riding skills and limitations will have any real bearing on their safety.

That is the main reason, that as a 19 year MSF instructor, and a 40 year rider, I still cringe when the main emphasis I see in the public awareness media is the usual "Watch for Motorcycles", which I feel is simply ineffective.


Training, the best safety and performance "equipment" you can get!
Get MSF trained, check out: http://www.msf-usa.org
 

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Well Enuff
--- Regaining my sanity --- one ride at time



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   Posted 8/16/2011 5:02 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Andy VH said...
That is the main reason, that as a 19 year MSF instructor, and a 40 year rider, I still cringe when the main emphasis I see in the public awareness media is the usual "Watch for Motorcycles", which I feel is simply ineffective.
My motto is "Watch for drivers that don't watch for motorcycles." [That means everbody.]
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el SID
merely a man equipped with a bag a seedless grapes



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   Posted 8/17/2011 5:11 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
The old "Safety IS a state of mind" was what I was thinking. Andy nailed it,It starts between the ears.  


  the best bike out.... is the one your on...
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1973 kawasaki h1
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Deacon Blues
The Imaginary Director



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   Posted 9/30/2011 12:32 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Andy VH said...
That is the main reason, that as a 19 year MSF instructor, and a 40 year rider, I still cringe when the main emphasis I see in the public awareness media is the usual "Watch for Motorcycles", which I feel is simply ineffective.


You'd think that they'd do better than that by now.

Anyone got a really fancy SUV, some rashed-up gear, a disassembled/wrecked bike, and a camera? I've had an idea for a PSA for a while, just need props. :)


"Lane splitting will never be accepted in those areas where driving is considered a martial art."

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