GHSA Report: Motorcycle Deaths Decreased In 2013

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GHSA Report Motorcycle Deaths Decreased In 2013

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) released a report yesterday with good news about the state of motorcycling in the United States: “For only the second year since 1997, U.S. motorcyclist fatalities are projected to decrease in 2013, according to a new analysis of preliminary state data.” The report is called “Spotlight on Highway Safety,” and it was prepared for the GHSA by Dr.

James Hedlund of Highway Safety North, former Chief of the Mathematical Analysis Division at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA). Which is to say, there was a smart guy who was very good with figures behind all this.

There are several big takeaways from the report that are very positive. Overall, it looks like motorcycle fatalities declined by 7% in 2013. Further parsing that figure, fatalities increased in 13 states, while decreasing in 35 states plus Washington, DC. There was no change in the remaining two states, if you’re doing the math carefully. In pure numbers, there were 4,957 motorcycling fatalities in 2012, and it looks like there were 4,610 in 2013. Even in these high-tech days, there’s a bit of underreporting and data adjustment that goes on when tallying results, which is why even at this point in the second quarter of 2014, the figures for 2013 are still qualified as estimates.

Another telling piece of math concerns the relative safety of motorcycles and passenger vehicles. The report states that “in 2011, motorcycles produced six times more occupant fatalities per registration than passenger vehicles. Passenger vehicle occupants were twice as safe in 2011 as in 1997, measured by fatalities per registered vehicle. But motorcyclist safety, by the same measure, has not changed in fifteen years.”

Motorcyclists accounted for 15% of all traffic fatalities in 2012, compared to 5% in 1997. In 1997, there were 5.53 fatalities per 10,000 motorcycle registrations. In 2011, there were 5.46 fatalities per 10,000 motorcycle registrations — a statistical dead heat. So, while passenger vehicles seem to be getting safer, motorcycles remain dangerous. Who’s surprised by that information?

When the GHSA report starts to come to conclusions, I’m reminded of the quote most often attributed to Benjamin Disraeli: “Lies, damned lies and statistics.” Not that there’s any overt obfuscation from the GHSA, just that there’s a definite point of view, and the stats are used to illustrate it, when it would be possible to emphasize different stats or even different opinions to support a contrary, more motorcycle-friendly point of view. What we have always known is still true: Motorcycling is a risky endeavor. And when confronted with risk, government’s reaction is to limit or eliminate it.

The study concludes with several recommendations that government can take to further reduce motorcycle fatalities:

I consider it of note that of the six recommendations, five point fingers directly at motorcyclists, and only one considers that there might be some solutions that involve everyone.

You can read the complete GHSA report (just 23 pages, including 3 pages of references) on the GHSA website at http://www.ghsa.org/html/publications/pdf/spotlights/motorcycles_2013.pdf.

What do you think? Does the GHSA have a point with its recommendations? What other actions, if any, would help to further reduce motorcycling fatalities on U.S. roads?

  • Chris Davis

    Allow lane splitting in the other 49 states. http://rideapart.com/2011/07/study-lane-splitting-is-safer/

    • Jason Fogelson

      I agree, Chris. I live and ride in California, and lane sharing is one of the main reasons I feel safer on the road.

      • Jono

        I live in Sydney, Aus and we’ve just had laws passed that will allow lane filtering. I can’t tell you the difference it makes, being able to filter and not have to constantly look over your shoulder for Mr Bike cop….

      • Nemosufu Namecheck

        Do you think people in other states are ready for lane splitting and sharing? A lot of states I ride in seem to have drivers that get upset when you pass them, let alone get an upper hand like splitting.

        • Joseph Brassard

          Out here in Massachusetts, sure, it’s illegal, but on a Friday rush hour, heading down to Cape Cod from Boston, you’ll see tons of bikes doing it to avoid being stuck in the heat on the asphalt. Car drivers will see them coming and will sometimes OPEN THEIR DOORS in an attempt to physically block them from splitting lanes. Insane. It’s like, “I’m stuck in this horrible gridlock, so EVERYONE must be!”

          There would have to be a media campaign to make people aware of it. Otherwise, on Day 1 of legal lane splitting, you’d have cagers assaulting/killing motorcyclists out of sheer rage.

          • Piglet2010

            And a few cagers getting shot by motorcyclists too, eh?

            • eddi

              Not like the rednecks aren’t already using us for target practice. Fortunately they’re usually too drunk to hit the floor if they dropped the gun.

    • Paolo

      Lane splitting is the ONLY way to get around any “major” city here in Honduras.

  • Adam

    Make helmet use more common in non-universal states by requiring an extra $100/year registration fee for the right to not wear a helmet. Delineate the purchasers by multiple “No Helmet Required” stickers (pink & puce green) they would need to put on their bike.

    • Jason Fogelson

      Interesting proposal, Adam. Not to poke the hornet’s nest, but wouldn’t a universal helmet law be even more effective?

      • BobasBounty

        Wouldn’t banning motorcycles be even more effective? I always wear a helmet, but I don’t think it’s mine or anyone else’s business if someone doesn’t.

        • Jason Fogelson

          Great idea, BobasBounty. Let’s take it a step further and ban all passenger vehicles, too. Reductio ad absurdum.

          • BobasBounty

            I’m not really sure if it was fallacious, hyperbole maybe, but when comparing two things that perform the same function I’d say the logic follows that it would be much safer if everyone drove.

            The path to ruin is paved with good intentions, as they say.

            • Jason Fogelson

              The sad truth is that I believe that there are actually people in power who would propose banning motorcycles. I favor choice when it comes to helmets, too, and even though I agree that it’s none of my business whether another rider chooses to wear a helmet, I cringe when I see someone riding without a lid. I feel like their choice paints all riders in a bad light, and increases the likelihood of ignorant over-reaction on the part of legislators — leading down that slippery slope toward banning motorcycles altogether. A remote possibility, to be sure, but it’s a feeling, not a totally rational thought.

              • BobasBounty

                I get what you’re saying, and it is unfortunate that a lidless squid makes people think we’re all reckless. Such is life though. There are always those who can spoil the fun for everyone, but it’s our job as a society to not let the actions of a few dictate the restrictions on the many.

                • Jason Fogelson

                  Thanks, BobasBounty. I’m glad we had a meeting of minds.

                • James

                  Try telling that to a politician.

              • Davidabl2

                We’re gonna ban motorcycles when we can’t ban guns? I don’t think so. Especially since the same social sectors seem to enjoy both ;-)

          • Piglet2010

            Banning SUVs would be a good start.

          • LS650

            Hey, if Google have their way, some day no one will be trusted to drive a car either.

        • James

          I Australia (where I live) it is law (i.e. mandatory) for all motorcyclists (and even bicycle riders) to wear helmets. It is also mandatory for all vehicle operators to wear seatbelts. period.

          It has been this way since the mid 70′s and it is now at the stage where it is accepted by everyone and there are never any arguments in the public forum against any of these rules… Its just the way it is.

          The statistics show that this has been effective. although raw numbers of fatalities have risen over time there is a reduction in the rate of fatality based on the number of road users.

          I don’t object to your opinion of being able to have a choice but I am expressing that, in another country, the introduction of mandatory road safety rules prove that injuries and deaths can be reduced.

          • BobasBounty

            Oh it absolutely reduces injury and death, but I prefer to let adults choose to do what they like as long as it doesn’t hurt others.

          • LiberalNightmare

            The article points out that the number of fatalities has dropped here in the US too. Of course in the US, many states don’t have mandatory helmet laws, yet somehow we still have declining fatalities.

            In fact several states have relaxed their helmet laws very recently.

          • Piglet2010

            Pedal cycling rates in Australia dropped dramatically with the lid law introduction, and fatality rates increased – fewer bicycles on the road relative to cars leads to higher accident rates. And no reputable study* has shown any severe injury or death reduction benefit from wearing foam bicycle hats.

            *The famed “85% head injury reduction” from Thompson, Rivara, Thompson is decidedly junk science.

    • BobasBounty

      I’m all about helmet use, same for seat belts, but I am adamantly against mandating their use, or charging to not use them.

      Victimless crimes should not exist. Period.

      • Davidabl2

        Victimless crime, yes, but not without social costs. Education,generally at public expense, use of medical resources always at public expense.

    • LiberalNightmare

      If you cant convince people by the strength of your argument, tax them into submission.

    • Davidabl2

      I prefer the idea of a “Darwin Plate.” With a picture of the apes we are descended from, not Mr. Darwin. A license that allowed the operator to have an unhelmeted passenger would be a “Double Darwin” and have a picture of two apes..
      Perhaps the news media announcements of unhelmeted fatalities could also state that “Mr. So&so received his Darwin Award”

  • Adam

    Require ABS on all new bikes. ABS (along with airbags and everything else) is a big contributor to the increase in safety for newer cars.

    • Jason Fogelson

      Another interesting proposal, Adam. I haven’t seen any stats on fatality reduction with motorcycle ABS yet, but my experience with the system has been overwhelmingly positive, and I’ll bet that it saves lives on the balance.

      • Piglet2010

        I am bothered by the test data showing 20 to 40% longer stopping distances in the day with ABS than without – the systems need to be better.

        • Piglet2010

          It appears that the new Ducati Monster 1200 may have properly calibrated ABS, according to A. Waheed’s road test over on MotoUSA.

      • vfrdude

        ABS makes a huge difference.
        Results
        ABS was associated with a 31 percent reduction in the rate of fatal motorcycle crashes per 10,000 registered vehicle years.
        The 95 percent confidence interval for this effectiveness estimate was (9 percent, 48 percent). Both the updated estimate and its confidence interval were within the confidence interval of the 2003-08 estimate due largely to the precision afforded by larger sample size.
        Conclusions
        Further evidence shows that ABS is highly effective in preventing fatal motorcycle crashes.
        http://www.iihs.org/frontend/iihs/documents/masterfiledocs.ashx?id=2042

    • BobasBounty

      I’m honestly curious as to why ABS is as expensive as it is on motorcycles. $500-1000 for a feature that has been standard on a lot of cars for years seems strange. I could be wrong, but should the system itself actually be cheaper on a motorcycle (fewer wheels, less robust due to less weight)?

      I’m not sure if I’d go so far as to require it, but if it was $150 or something, it would be a lot easier to decide on it.

      • James

        I agree. Anything over $500 is absurd. These days you cant buy a car without ABS I guess it will only be a matter of time until bikes go the same way.

    • LS650

      I agree with BobasBounty: if ABS is to become commonplace, the manufacturers need to bring the price down. At this point ABS has been available for years on some models; with economy of scale they should be able to fit ABS to all street bikes affordably.

  • John Ash

    To be fair….you can only kill someone once.

  • James

    I’m only a recent convert to two wheels so even as a mostly car driver I don’t see why drivers are not given the same level of awareness training as motorcyclists. I understand that they are better protected in their shell but how much safer would the roads be if:
    1. Drivers were instructed to be as aware as motorcyclists at all times, and
    2. Drivers were taught to have the same attitude of “its always my fault – what can I/should have I done differently to prevent an accident”?

    Also on the topic of learning to drive a car I think it would be very beneficial for all car drivers to receive the theory component of the motorcycle course as well as car theory and practice. That way they become educated on the hazards of motorbike riding and they get an understanding of why bikes go faster/split lanes/move to the front of the queue/crash more often/etc. Hopefully this would provide some empathy and result in more courteous and aware drivers.

    Then it would be on all of us to ensure we reciprocate and also ensure that we too are competent to share the road.

    • Jason Fogelson

      Right on, James. And welcome to a lifetime on two wheels. I can tell from your insightful comment that you are going to have a long safe riding journey.

    • TechGuy5489

      Drivers have no incentive to operate at the awareness level riders have to work at. Riders don’t operate at that level because we’re better people or better users of the road or any such nonsense. We do it because we have to. Until the risk associated with getting into a car is a lot closer to throwing a leg over a bike it won’t happen.

      • zedro

        I believe that every licensed driver should be forced to drive or be a passenger on a motorcycle one day per year. Perceptions, attitudes and behavior’s would quickly change for the better.

        • James

          I agree zedro. I don’t think that people attitude towards cars & bikes is measured exclusively by their perception of risk of serious injury or death. I think education or motorcycle risks (for both riders and drivers) would improve attitude and culture on the road. If the only reason that you are a better road user is because you “have to” rather than because you “want to” then I don’t think you have the best possible attitude to road safety.

    • Piglet2010

      “Also on the topic of learning to drive a car I think it would be very beneficial” if the same standard as getting an ATP (airline transport pilot) license was applied to those wanting to drive a cage of death (to others).

      • James

        Good concept Piglet. I don’t know how it works outside of Australia but here we have multistage licencing. Learner Licences, Probationary Licences and Full Licences. Each has its own restrictions (e.g. max speed limit, number of passengers allowed, blood alcohol restrictions, etc.)
        I do believe that the practical component of learning to ride or drive could be much better improved. Just because you know the rules doesn’t make you a competent driver and here in Oz the scrutiny of driving skills is nowhere near high enough.

        • Piglet2010

          Here in the US, getting a car license typically requires getting 70-80% of simple and basic multiple test questions correct, and then taking a short, routine drive without hitting anything. A trained monkey could pass.

          • James

            A trained monkey might be better than some of the drivers we have here.

          • dreygata

            Unfortunately, in some states, getting a motorcycle license is easier than that. In my state, you just have to pass the written test, and you have your riding license.
            I personally think driving tests should be more difficult and be required at least once every ten years after that

            • Piglet2010

              The philosophy behind licensing is inherently wrong. While a motorcycle is much more dangerous than a car to an unskilled operator, the converse applies to the danger each vehicle poses to other road users. To be morally correct, the role of government should be to protect the other road users, and not the individual from his/herself.

        • Piglet2010

          Here in Iowa you borrow your buddy’s sister’s old Honda Elite 80, do the ALMOST test in a parking lot, then ride off fully licensed on your new ‘Busa.

          • James

            Australian motorcycle licence rules require attendance at two consecutive half day training courses which include a mixture of theory and practice after which you complete a simple assessment. This entitles you to a Learners Licence. You are then required to go back and complete another half day advanced course and another assessment (there is no time frame – just when you feel competent to complete s-weaves & low speed u-turns) which entitles you to a Probationary Licence. This is required for a minimum of 12 months. The whole process usually takes about 18 months. Throughout this whole time you are restricted to bikes with a maximum capacity of 650cc and they must also come under a maximum power to weight ratio. Similar to the European system.
            Add to these requirements the fact that the government charges like a wounded bull to attend these courses (presumably to restrict the number of people attempting to get licences) and the whole this is a pain in the you-know-what.
            Still, it sorts out the “I’m-thinking-about-its” from the “I’m-sure-about-its”.
            If only car drivers were given the same amount of attention the roads would be a much safer & harmonious place.

            • Piglet2010

              I never understood why motorcycle riding tests put so much emphasis on low-speed maneuvering where a fall usually damages nothing more important than dignity, while almost completely or completely ignoring being able to ride properly on the street.

              • James

                Too right. In the 3 half day sessions you struggle to get the bike over anything more than 25kph (15mph) on nothing more than a 125. So no learning about or practice with lean angles, high speeds, high speed braking, cross-winds, passing trucks, swerving, overtaking, etc. You also aren’t taught about throttle blipping, clutchless changes, braking in a corner, hill starts, riding in the wet, weights and loading and the list goes on and on. To be honest I was crapping myself the first time I took a bike on the actual road after getting my licence. Probably a better attitude than being over-confident though.

                • Piglet2010

                  I find riding on the street to be much easier to pick up on than tight U-turns and offset cone weaves. Other than an occasional U-turn, one can ride on the street without ever having to use the low-speed techniques (been there, done that).

              • James

                Too right. In the 3 half day sessions you struggle to get the bike over anything more than 25kph (15mph) on nothing more than a 125. So no learning about or practice with lean angles, high speeds, high speed braking, cross-winds, passing trucks, swerving, overtaking, etc. You also aren’t taught about throttle blipping, clutchless changes, braking in a corner, hill starts, riding in the wet, weights and loading and the list goes on and on. To be honest I was crapping myself the first time I took a bike on the actual road after getting my licence. Probably a better attitude than being over-confident though.

          • eddi

            My “driving test” for a regular license, but riding my bike, (1975) was exit the parking lot turning left and re-entering it further down with another left. If you came back alive you were in. Did I mention it was a quiet back street with a 25MPH limit?
            Most driving test are designed to be easy to pass because DMVs need money. And the local LEOs are always happy to charge you for advanced training.

          • kevin

            I have a Honda Elite 80!

            • Davidabl2

              You’re survival chances went way up. There’s a saying i used to hear that being a fighter pilot in wartime, a motorcyclist,or a day trader the big question was whether you could survive the first six months,and after that if you could survive the first year. The honda Elite will not distort your better judgment, so if you keep it for a year before you get the “Busa you should be good…

              • Piglet2010

                On the other hand, on any small scooter you can whack the throttle wide open in practically any situation and get away with it. On the ‘Busa, mostly bad things will happen unless the throttle is used with appropriate skill and judgement.

      • Bluesceyes

        Experience does not always equal skill. I’m more for extra classes…not time restrictions. This is exactly what is wrong with the ATP and can be applied to driver and rider education.

        • Piglet2010

          I see a lot of long time riders who effectively have 6 months riding experience 25 times over.

  • William Connor

    Alcohol use, and speeding were the biggest factors contributing to a crash. The helmet prevents the effects from the crash. Eliminate the contributing factors first and then once you drop those factors you can worry about helmets. Making helmet use the number one priority won’t reduce crashes, it may or may not save lives. Not crashing will definitely save lives. Which reminds me. Crash statistics so far this year are up for military riders. This number usually runs along the same lines as regular riders.

    • TechGuy5489

      I snicker every time I see a bike night hosted at a bar. It’s like people don’t know that there’s a great big connection between alcohol and motorcycle incidents.

  • Piglet2010

    “What other actions, if any, would help to further reduce motorcycling fatalities on U.S. roads?”

    Place the heads of cagers who use mobile communications devices (including hands free) while driving alongside the roads on pikes.

    • Solarservant

      The law should read: Texting=Drunk Driving. Same penalties, everything. Can’t count how many times I’ve almost been creamed by texting teenagers.

  • Jack Meoph

    What’s up with that guy’s hair? It’s like he has a moat of hair around his bald dome. He’s got some kind of monk thing going on there. I’m balding as well, but that just looks weird. PSA: motorcycles are dangerous.

  • Nemosufu Namecheck

    That poor cop’s bike…

  • daveinva

    My opinions, YMMV:

    1. Rider training should be mandatory for licensure, and riders should be required to re-take training once every five years. (Same rules should apply to *drivers* too, of course; it’s madness that drivers only have to take driver’s ed *once* in their entire lives, no refreshers required).

    2. A DUI on a bike should result in loss of license for a year and a significant fine. A second DUI should result in permanent loss of license and forfeiture of your bike. Having a couple of drinks before you legally drive a car increases your risk; having even one drink and getting on a bike is *inviting* risk.

    3. I have no problems with mandatory helmet laws here in 2014. We have mandatory seat belt use in cars, it’s the same thing. I know, I know… I’m not going to re-open the endless debate. But I just wanted to state it because the public stereotype is that all riders are against helmet use, and that isn’t true– many of us hate riding WITHOUT helmets simply from a personal comfort issue, let alone the safety concerns.

    That said, if carrots are more amenable to riders than sticks, then by all means, pass laws to incent helmet use versus punished non-use– discounts on insurance, discounts on bike registration, etc., etc.

    4. While I would love filtering to be legal in every state, I don’t see it happening given American driving culture– confused drivers would hate it. I’m all for more states adopting it, but I won’t hold my breath.

    • Piglet2010

      “Having a couple of drinks before you legally drive a car increases your
      risk; having even one drink and getting on a bike is *inviting* risk.”

      So what? From a moral perspective, we should stop trying to protect people from themselves, and focus on protecting the innocent bystander instead.

      Having a lesser penalty for DUI on a motorcycle compared to driving a car would provide an incentive to use a vehicle that is less dangerous to others.

  • JP

    “I consider it of note that of the six recommendations, five point
    fingers directly at motorcyclists, and only one considers that there
    might be some solutions that involve everyone.”

    Yea, I also think that pretty much sums it up. We are all at the mercy of cagers not colliding with us, but we can take steps to be safer as well (which we have control over).

    I was in a bad accident where the driver was at fault (didn’t see me) and I blame her for the accident, but I could have avoided the accident if I reacted better. You can’t point fingers if you are dead.

  • enzomedici

    I track the motorcycle fatalities here in Las Vegas. This year we have had 11 so far this year that I’m aware of. 8 of those were either motorcyclist speeding, drunk or just hitting a curb or pole. 2 were left turning cars in front of motorcycles and 1 was a drunk driver that rear ended a biker. So 72% of fatalities were the biker’s fault. If you aren’t doing 80 mph in a 30mph zone or riding drunk, your odds of not dying in a crash are pretty good.

  • Davidabl2

    Purely from a public safety point of view both automobile driving licenses and motorcycle endorsements should be harder to get. And easier to lose.
    Any injury accident where “distracted driving’ is a causative factor should bear the same consequences as an injury accident while DUI.
    i.e it’d be “use a cellphone, go to jail’ if somebody gets hurt.

    • Piglet2010

      “i.e it’d be “use a cellphone, go to jail’ if somebody gets hurt.”

      Remove the “if somebody gets hurt.” qualifier, and I agree.

      • Davidabl2

        A wee bit Draconian, that. A regime that’d do that would jail motorcyclists for ALL kinds of infractions.
        Here in Calif. it isn’t yet an infraction that counts against a motorist’s point count.. it’s treated like driving w/o a seatbelt i.e. a fine-only infraction.
        Making it a point count infraction like, say, running a red light, would reduce it quite a bit.

        • Piglet2010

          Yakking on a phone while driving is little different than shooting a gun off at random in the middle of a city.

          • Davidabl2

            Cultural values will have to shift before many people see it that way. On the other hand, not too long ago there was a time when ‘drinkin’& drivin’ was considered normal behavior. And that the resulting carnage was “just one of those things.”
            I remember working in Texas in the ‘nineties and hearing bartenders ask folks if they wanted a “traveller” at closing time…A “traveller’ was a drink in a paper cup to drink on the way home from the bar…

        • ben

          Find 30 minutes to kill and be prepared to lose some water. I think you should probably be arrested for texting and driving.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk1vCqfYpos&feature=kp

          side note: The guy who made this documentary was once shot with a small caliber rifle during an interview in LA and continued the interview after saying something like: “I think i’ve been shot, it’s ok”… he’s an interesting fellow.

          • Davidabl2

            Many thanks, Ben As a Werner Hertzog fan (and having met him once or twice around the time he ate his shoe in Berkeley, Ca after losing a bet) I will definitely see it asap. By the way i was not able to attend the shoe event @ the Chez Panisse restaurant, just heard about it after the fact. Unfortunately.

            • ben

              Awe, man… A film buff! I hear the bet was lost to Errol Morris “I will eat my shoe if you ever do any of the things you keep talking about”. Anyways… This one’s surprisingly good for what’s essentially a PSA, enjoy!

  • Lord Triumph

    How did this happen? Are Yanks (sorry Americans) becoming better riders? Has the training improved? Are 4 wheelers becoming more aware of bikes due to a TV or printed media advertising? Please explain to a Brit, living in a country that actively encourages lane splitting (real word filtering), where cars move out of your way if they see you in their mirrors, where regular government paid TV, printed and online media ads remind 4 wheelers of our vulnerability, and the basic training and further courses are harder to pass than a phd in astro physics.

  • richardxh

    The issues in the USA are:

    1. Insanely easy to pass your car test.
    2. Slightly more easier to pass your bike test with no restrictions on the bike you can ride after.
    3. Helmet laws. I don’t know the exact statistics, but if you look at countries that have socialized medicine, helmets are mandatory. While we don’t have SM in the USA, riders who crash without helmets incur costs that are shared by all.
    4. Lane splitting, great idea but it will be years before the average Joe in a car understands them.
    5. Drink driving. The penalty for being caught is not that severe as it is in other countries I have lived in.
    6. Finally, and probably the most controversial! Image. The preponderance of riders are “Harley” riders where image is part of the scene. Tshirts, half helmets and jeans. AGAT doesn’t fit on a cruiser in the Summer. Gross generalization but I think most know where I am coming from.

    Having said that, I’m scared to death of teenage drivers texting while driving!!!!

    • Piglet2010

      2. What about countries that have single-payer, non socialized medicine?

      4. The “Average Joe” in a car cannot tell his @$$ from a hole in the ground.

      5. Here in The Colonies, we call it DUI (driving under the influence), DWI (driving while intoxicated), or OWI (operating while intoxicated).

      6. True, but the squids are almost as bad. The only riders I see generally ATGATT are on AT or (what we in the colonies) call sport-touring bikes (in the UK these would be touring bikes, e.g R1200RT, FJR1300).

      • ben

        Piglet, where do you live? I don’t know of anyone who willingly refers to themselves as “The Colonies”… Australia? NZ?

  • Paul Leonard

    I wonder if we cut out the no helmet law states or folks with only brain buckets what the numbers really come up to. I think the best thing to do, being from a lane splitting state with helmet laws, is make splitting cars at over 10 mph the speed of said cars a fine… and one thing other states than CA do is mandatory safety inspections. Sounds sucky like smog but that would stop a lot of accidents in CA in general. It’s scary how many bald tires I saw working my first auto gig… then I moved to brakes and I have seen rotors worn to just the cooling fins.

    I’m also an Ol’ School pre-Regan conservative, so I also think it would be great if some sort of price-control / use of the farm subsidy program was enacted to flood the market with high-quality DOT approved safety gear at low prices or to help up the quality of said gear with better materials. Like NASA, gov’t R&D pays off.
    Oh but wait… Regan got elected, Dems didn’t change it… and now we gotta ask Putin for rides in his rockets… but at least we have Iphones to play with while we drive!