Digest/Clips

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"One thing we know is that the accident rate for motorcyclists has been declining for many years. Riders now are a much safer group than in the '50s, '60s,and '70s. And through the '80s and '90s things seemed to improve even more, though the decline in registrations at the same time had to have been a large part of the explanation. Motorcycling has undergone another boom, however, and more people are riding again. Unavoidably, with greater exposure comes more accidents, though the best data we've seen recently still indicate that the number of riders is increasing faster than the accident rate, which means that on the whole, motorcyclists are safer than ever. This fact is being ignored. Motorcycle accidents are perceived differently from other traffic incidents; car wrecks are considered regrettable, but a cultural norm; the same result on a motorcycle is viewed as senseless. Or worse, inevitable.
Motorcycles are potentially dangerous, of course, but they don't have to be. The risk inherent to motorcycling seems to me a frictionless sliding scale: depending entirely on your own approach, it can move freely between safe and relaxed recreation and something verging on suicide. No other vehicle offers the movement so easily from one extreme to the other. So yes, you need to think about what you do and be careful."

"Signal to Noise Ratio" editorial by Bruce Reeve in Cycle Canada July 2000, to subscribe, call 514 738 9439

 


People are famously irrational in deciding what hazard to pay attention to. More Americans were killed in bicycling accidents last year (about 900) than died in all U.S. airplane crashes in the 1990�s. But when a big plane goes down, there are big stories - which we all read. Residents of Los Angeles or San Francisco are hundreds of times more likely to die in a household fall from a ladder than in an earthquake, yet the earthquake danger is what people are hundreds of times more likely to discuss. (In the 20th century, about 5,000 Americans died in earthquakes, most of them in San Francisco in 1906. That many die in household falls every four months.)
Our reaction to these different perils is both not quite logical and completely understandable, since we are affected by more than the pure statistical risk. The other factors we inevitably weigh include the element of sudden horror -quite high when the earth opens up or you�re trapped in a falling plane; an individual�s ability to control the risk, which is close to zero for an airline passenger; and the ability to correct or recover from the damage after it has occurred, which is very low for airplane crashes.

Risk Assessment, By James Fallows From The Industry Standard, March 6, 2000

 

 


"A recent study in Tokyo showed that if one in every five car drivers were to ride a bike instead, traffic speed would rise by 35 percent and pollution would be 30 percent down."

 

Performance Bike, April 2000 issue.

 


"Cars lie to us and tell us we're safe, powerful, and in control. The air-conditioning fans murmur empty assurances and whisper, 'Sleep, sleep.' Motorcycles tell us a more useful truth: we are small and exposed, and probably moving too fast for our own good, but that's no reason not to enjoy every minute of the ride."

Dave Karlotski, Season of The Bike 7/00

 


"...fundamental deficiencies in this methodology are clearly demon-strated by the fact that if the same analysis is applied to all modes of urban transportaion, one would reach the absurd conclusion that motorcycles are superior to all other modes of urban passenger transportation. They are cheaper and faster than cars, while their great inferiority in safety and comfort are not considered..."

Transportation for Livable Cities, Vukan R. Vuchic, 1998 (This is the single "motorcycle" reference in this "authoratative" 350 page guide for transportation planners. Sheesh.)

 


Maximum businesss deduction allowed US employers per employee parking space they provide: $175
Maximum deduction allowed employers for van-pool or masstransit expenses, per employee: $65
From Harpers Index, July 98
(for motorcycles-$0)