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philwelch 1347 days ago | link | parent

Given equal sensibility, a car is safer than a motorcycle. A car can take getting hit by a drunk driver or wildlife (they fucking jump out of nowhere), a motorcycle can't. I follow the writings of one particular rock drummer who travels extensively by motorcycle, especially on tour, and he wrote--referencing another prominent motorcyclist, who wrote for motorcycling magazines and was at the time recently killed by a deer collision--that the one danger a skilled motorcyclist can never fully mitigate is wildlife. Deer kill plenty of people in cars, too, but you have a better chance surviving having a deer jump on top of your car as opposed to your motorcycle.

(I read once that deer kill more people in North America than any other animal.)



mike-cardwell 1347 days ago | link

Yeah, I wasn't arguing that motorbikes are just as safe as cars. I just don't think the difference is as large as those figures suggest.

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rubashov 1346 days ago | link

I'd be interested to see the motorcycle accident/fatality rate controlled for rider demographics, using car accidents as the control. I bet the difference is much less than commonly indicated.

I think the risk is very controllable. It's also a "dose is the poison" kind of thing. I only average about one fairly local ride a week. I am quite sure I am safer than people who drive on highways every day.

The danger depends heavily on the driving environment. Suburbia and semi-rural areas are rather dangerous because you get a mix of fairly high speeds and many space cadet drivers (grandma, 16 year olds): the kind of people who back out of driveways without looking. In this particular urban area those risks aren't present. It's pretty safe 50mph free-way sprints and then stop & go in a grid system.

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gamache 1346 days ago | link

I'd be interested to see the motorcycle accident/fatality rate controlled for rider demographics, using car accidents as the control. I bet the difference is much less than commonly indicated.

You should review the findings of the Hurt Report, the most comprehensive study of motorcycle safety to date (even though it's from the 70's):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_findings_in_the_Hurt_Re...

If you want to live: ride dirt bikes as a kid, attend a training course, stay sober, wear all the gear all the time (ATGATT!)

If you want to die: have a friend teach you how to ride in a parking lot, skip the helmet on short trips, drink one for the road, do not assume that everyone is trying to kill you all the time

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smallegan 1346 days ago | link

Just read on facebook this morning that a friend hit a 6ft Gator in FL. Can't imagine what THAT would feel like on a motorcycle!

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