Friday, 16 December 2016

Crashing motorcycles - causes.

An American study of the causes of motorcycle crashes. It comes from the Insurance Information Institute, whose roles is "Improving public understanding of insurance and how it works." That makes sense as most severe injury and all fatal crashes are reported and end up involving claims.

Alcohol use: According to NHTSA, in 2014, 29 percent of motorcycle riders who were involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or over (the national definition of drunk driving), up from 27 percent in 2013 and 28 percent in 2012.  This compares with 22 percent of passenger car drivers and light truck drivers involved in fatal crashes, and with 2 percent of large truck drivers.
In 2014, fatally-injured motorcycle riders between the ages of 35 to 39 had the highest rate of alcohol involvement (42 percent), followed by the 40 to 45 age group (41 percent).
In 2014 motorcycle riders killed in traffic crashes at night were almost three times more likely to have BAC levels of 0.08 percent or higher (46 percent) than those killed during the day (15 percent).
The reported helmet use rate for motorcycle riders with BACs at or over 0.08 percent who were killed in traffic crashes was 51 percent in 2014, compared with 67 percent for those who did not have any measurable blood alcohol.
Speeding: In 2014, 33 percent of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were speeding, compared with 20 percent for drivers of passenger cars, 17 percent for light truck drivers and 7 percent for large truck drivers, according to NHTSA.
Licensing: Twenty-eight percent of motorcycle riders who were involved in fatal crashes in 2014 were riding without a valid license, compared with 13 percent of passenger car drivers.
By Type of Motorcycle: According to a 2007 report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), riders of “super sports” motorcycles have driver death rates per 10,000 registered vehicles nearly four times higher than those for drivers of other types of motorcycles. Super sports can reach speeds of up to 190 mph. The light-weight bikes, built for racing, are modified for street use and are popular with riders under the age of 30. In 2005 these bikes registered 22.5 driver deaths per 10,000 registered vehicles, compared with 10.7 deaths for other sport models. Standards and cruisers, and touring bikes (with upright handlebars) have rates of 5.7 and 6.5, respectively, per 10,000 vehicles. In 2005 super sports accounted for 9 percent of registrations, and standards and cruisers made up 51 percent of registrations. Among fatally injured drivers, the IIHS says that drivers of super sports were the youngest—with an average age of 27. Touring motorcycle drivers were the oldest, 51 years old. Fatally injured drivers of other sports models were 34, on average; standard and cruiser drivers were 44 years old. Speeding and driver error were bigger factors in super sport and sport fatal crashes. Speed was cited in 57 percent of super sport fatal crashes in 2005 and in 46 percent for sport model riders. Speed was a factor in 27 percent of fatal crashes of cruisers and standards and 22 percent of touring models."

To sum up, being under the influence of alcohol, lack of experience and the power and type of bike are all high risk facts. Back in the UK points to the single statistic of;

"The majority of motorcycling accidents occurred at junctions(45%) and a ‘failure to look properly’ was the most frequently cited cause of all accidents on all road types."

There is further information of;

"The majority of motorcyclist fatalities (70%) took place on rural roads, with motorway accidents accounting for only 1% of motorcyclist fatalities and 2% of serious injuries.
69% of all accidents involving injury to a motorcyclist took place at a junction, the vast majority of accidents involved one other vehicle (70%), with the other vehicle involved most likely (79%) to be a car."

So take care at junctions and on rural roads where junctions are more likely to passed at higher speeds