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Old 06-20-2009, 10:11 AM
 
Location: New England
8,155 posts, read 18,168,688 times
Reputation: 3275

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctcoldplay11 View Post
A fatal motorcyle accident closed down Route 2 in Marlborough today, as the police said a car clipped a motorcyclist, sending him off the highway and into a patch of trees. It bothers me that everyone jumps to conclusions that the motorcyclist was traveling too fast or doing wheelies or any other dangerous activities, when it is almost ALWAYS another driver's fault for motorcyclist deaths. For too long have CT motorcyclists gone unprotected on our roads (I, myself do not even own a motorcycle) but I feel this is a very precedent CT issue. My father's close friend was killed in a motorcycle accident a few years ago when the driver of a car pulled out in front of him. Is it me or has this been an ongoing problem in our state? All in all, it's another sad day to see our CT residents killed needlessly on our roads...
I've been away from my computer due to a crazy crazy work week (Extremely busy) but have been wanting to comment seeing as I've been riding motorbikes since about 10-11 years old.

Ironically I ride with the motorcycle safety director for the state of CT (Ray Gaulin) - thus every ride is an education. In our last advanced rider course, Ray posed the question: "What percentage of motorcycle accidents are the rider's fault?"

People said 10%, 20% Ray just kept saying "nope" I was about to toss out a percent and then it hit me and I blurted out "100%!" Ray said "RIGHT!"

As a rider it is 100% up to us to be aware of our surroundings and what's going on around us...even if the other person is in the wrong, we are the ones on the ground.

An interesting statistic: The most injuries and fatalities in motorcycle crashes are NOT the young sportbike riders doing the stupid stuff we all see. It's the 50+ year old weekend cruiser!

Of course it simply BOGGLES MY MIND when I check my mirrors and I have a car on the freeway 10 feet off my rear fender. Do these people not realize, if something happens, they are going to hit me and drag me down the freeway most likely killing me. Back up a few feet for crying out loud! I simply accelerate and move over if I can, and if not, I put my hand out palm facing backwards and "push back". Some get the hint...some aholes get closer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mickee56 View Post
In many cases, the motorcyclist would have at least some chance of survival if they wore a helmet. Live by the sword, die by the sword.
I agree. I wear a helmet 99% of the time and believe in them, but I am also 10000000% against a helmet law. Helmet laws do nothing but take away one's personal freedom and replace it with a nanny state law. Not wearing a helmet is a personal decision and affects no one outside of the person making that decision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetto View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by mickee56 View Post
In many cases, the motorcyclist would have at least some chance of survival if they wore a helmet. Live by the sword, die by the sword.
This is true, but weird things happen. I had a motorcycle accident in 1991, where a car slammed on his brakes in front of me, and I grabbed too much front brake and swerved to missed him, and high sided. In any event, my brand new Shoei helmet never touched the ground after tumbling at 50 mph. I couldn't believe it, but my head never hit anything, hiowever I did break 3 ribs...
Ouch. Nothing remotely fun about high siding. On the flip side I had a helmet save my life. Went over the bars and landed on my face at a high rate of speed. Actually the whole bike did a somersault a few time before tossing me off. Broke my nose, lost a tooth and had a concussion WITH the helmet on!

Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenband View Post
Having said that, I have to admit that, vehicle for vehicle, I see far more motorcyclists driving irresponsibly than automobiles. Cutting between cars via the center line, driving 90+ mph without a helmet and weaving around vehicles, etc. So I certainly understand where the stereotype comes from.
I'm not sure what you mean by "vehicle for vehicle". I find that automobile drivers are FAR FAR worse at knowing things such as car control, rules of the road etc. How many people I see blowing across solid white lines to change lanes, passing on the right, following too close, eating while driving, talking on the phone and cutting people off etc etc on daily basis. Every once in a while the GSX-R 1000 blows by at 100mph weaving. I don't see it nearly as much.

At least they make you take rider safety courses and encourage advanced rider training before handing over the license. As such, most motorcycle riders have a better understanding of the dynamics of driving.

See my comment on the bold below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature27 View Post
I still think yeild to pedestrians is the most craziest law around. We're driing in a machine doing 30mph and we're supposed to hit the brakes for a human? It's easier for the person to stop, wake up, and realize a car is coming!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Knocker View Post
All I can say is you pays your money & you takes your chances. Helmet or no theres an awful lot of cars out there & with attitudes like the post above mine being common its a dangerous place to ride sometimes.
Agreed Tin Knocker.

With Yield to Pedestrian laws. We are the friggin worst with that. I see people run for their lives through an intersection more than I care too. It's terrible. I stop for folks. An extra 10 seconds out of my trip won't make a difference in my life. I feel bad when I do that and they are conditioned to have to run across the street like I did them some kind of huge favor. I want to yell out the window "Don't worry, take your time. Relax."

Up in Maine, NH etc whenever I see someone in a crosswalk and a CT plate heading towards them I cringe. I cringe because I know the Mainer is expecting the car to yield and the CT person thinks he owns the road - OUTTA MY WAY! In the end the CT person slams on the brakes, scares the hell out of the local and proceeds to get all pissy that they had to interrupt their "plan" by braking for a fellow human being.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nhctguy View Post
I agree completely. I see way too many motorcyclists, who are driving in between lanes when there is a traffic jam, passing cars with mere inches to spare, speeding, etc. I have had a close call with more than a few b/c I'm changing lanes and they are not riding in a lane at all and trying to skip between two cars.
It's called lane splitting and it used to be legal in all 50 states, now it's only legal in CA and most other countries around the world. It's common and not an "outlaw thing".

If drivers in the United States were properly trained, this would not be a shock. But so long as you can fog a mirror, they'll issue you a license here in the U.S. Of course even though it's legal in CA you NEEEEVER get automobile drivers opening door, spitting out of windows etc just because someone is getting ahead of them quicker.

This is lane splitting:


YouTube - Lane splitting Los Angeles (normal speed)

As for speeding, are you kidding me? When was the last time you went down the highway? 99% of the cars on the road are at least 10mph over the limit. Or did you mean "speeding more than the other cars also breaking the law"?
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:18 AM
 
2,766 posts, read 8,822,312 times
Reputation: 1566
Quote:
Originally Posted by JViello View Post
Not wearing a helmet is a personal decision and affects no one outside of the person making that decision.
I disagree with this. You choosing NOT to wear a helmet CAN and DOES affect others.
What If my car hits your motorcycle and you are NOT wearing a helmet and you get killed?
That would affect me knowing I killed someone and having to live with it the rest of my life...but if you HAD been wearing a helmet perhaps I would be able to say "at least the guy turned out okay"

Your decision to wear a helmet or not also affects your family directly. For if you get killed in an accident and it's ruled it was due to NOT wearing a helmet that would certainly impact the lives of your family members..

My father and sister both ride motorcycles. My father's brother (my uncle) died in a motorcycle accident when he was only 19 years old when his bike met with a semi though i do believe he was wearing a helmet at the time. Regardless, all riders should wear helmets
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Old 06-20-2009, 12:04 PM
 
Location: CT
1,930 posts, read 3,166,315 times
Reputation: 1419
Quote:
Originally Posted by KH02 View Post
I disagree with this. You choosing NOT to wear a helmet CAN and DOES affect others.
What If my car hits your motorcycle and you are NOT wearing a helmet and you get killed?
That would affect me knowing I killed someone and having to live with it the rest of my life...but if you HAD been wearing a helmet perhaps I would be able to say "at least the guy turned out okay"

Your decision to wear a helmet or not also affects your family directly. For if you get killed in an accident and it's ruled it was due to NOT wearing a helmet that would certainly impact the lives of your family members..

My father and sister both ride motorcycles. My father's brother (my uncle) died in a motorcycle accident when he was only 19 years old when his bike met with a semi though i do believe he was wearing a helmet at the time. Regardless, all riders should wear helmets

I agree with you, kinda... I'm not one to want big brother (or in this case, the insurance companies) tell me what to do. It's perfectly logical to protect the noggin, and I do when I ride and encourage others to do so as well. However, I hate the fact that the insurance companies lobby state legislature's to enact laws that benefit them directly, it's my choice to be safe or become a statistic.
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Old 06-20-2009, 08:40 PM
 
Location: New England
8,155 posts, read 18,168,688 times
Reputation: 3275
Quote:
Originally Posted by KH02 View Post
I disagree with this. You choosing NOT to wear a helmet CAN and DOES affect others.
What If my car hits your motorcycle and you are NOT wearing a helmet and you get killed?
That would affect me knowing I killed someone and having to live with it the rest of my life...but if you HAD been wearing a helmet perhaps I would be able to say "at least the guy turned out okay"

Your decision to wear a helmet or not also affects your family directly. For if you get killed in an accident and it's ruled it was due to NOT wearing a helmet that would certainly impact the lives of your family members..

My father and sister both ride motorcycles. My father's brother (my uncle) died in a motorcycle accident when he was only 19 years old when his bike met with a semi though i do believe he was wearing a helmet at the time. Regardless, all riders should wear helmets
Simple. It does not affect you in a monetary or responsibility kind of way. If you killed me because I was not wearing a helmet and you "feel bad"...tough cookies. You SHOULD feel bad for whatever action made you to cause an accident. But you should NOT feel bad that I took my own life in my own hands. That is MY choice, not yours or the state.

The bottom line is that the choice of wearing a helmet has no affect on anyone else except the person deciding if they want to wear one or not.

If you want the state controlling emotional reactions for you and your family...that is another discussion, but in my book that's not the place of the state. It's a personal matter. Please don't let your personal emotion and family experience dictate what me and my family decide for ourselves.

P.S. In case you missed it, I wear a helmet, leathers down to gloves even in 90* weather 99% of the time and in fact a helmet saved my life...but it was literally MY choice to wear it for that short trip down the road where it got ugly.
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:57 PM
 
438 posts, read 1,010,113 times
Reputation: 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by JViello View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by "vehicle for vehicle".
I thought of this thread (which I hadn't read since my last post, or shortly thereafter) when I was driving in eastern CT the other day, and in the course of an hour's driving, I saw a grand total of two motorcyclists. One was going at least 95 mph on the highway, much much faster than the speed of traffic, and doing so without a helmet; the other was weaving between vehicles in a manner I considered unsafe.

Now, I realize that two out of two isn't a statistically significant sample! But it was still amusing.

You raised the issue of speeding and lane splitting. I definitely wouldn't think anything of it if a motorcyclist was going 75 like the rest of us, but it's quite another thing when someone's going 20+ MPH faster than the prevailing speed of traffic -- that's almost always unacceptably dangerous, no matter who's doing it. I'm willing to concede that the average motorcyclist is a more proficient driver than the average automobile driver, but even so, I see that kind of behavior from motorcyclists more than the ratio of cars/motorcycles would suggest, just as I see it more often from sports cars than from minivans.

Lane splitting...well, I can only say I'm glad it's illegal. It's extremely unsettling to have someone coming up on me like that when I'm behind the wheel -- if nothing else, it's unexpected, and unexpected things cause accidents. I also have a strong distaste for people who like to "get ahead" in traffic, whatever their vehicle is. If everyone would wait their damn turn and stay in their lanes unless absolutely necessary, there'd be half as many accidents and we'd all get where we were going a lot faster. Almost no one is important enough that they can't drive courteously and be patient.

As for the helmet laws, I fully support them. People don't always die when they get in accidents and suffer head trauma; someone with severe brain damage may need a lifetime of round-the-clock care. Since we live in a society in which we use tax money to take care of the disabled, it's in our best interest to prevent those injuries as much as possible. Plus it's an incredible hassle when someone gets killed on the road; if someone can walk away from an accident instead, then it costs much less in police time, medical bills, and so forth. This is just pragmatism, really, and need not have anything to do with "nanny-statism".
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Old 06-21-2009, 05:18 AM
 
5,065 posts, read 13,239,071 times
Reputation: 3497
Quote:
Originally Posted by JViello View Post
Simple. It does not affect you in a monetary or responsibility kind of way. If you killed me because I was not wearing a helmet and you "feel bad"...tough cookies. You SHOULD feel bad for whatever action made you to cause an accident. But you should NOT feel bad that I took my own life in my own hands. That is MY choice, not yours or the state.

The bottom line is that the choice of wearing a helmet has no affect on anyone else except the person deciding if they want to wear one or not.
Actually, I think it does affect everyone monetarily, in the form of higher insurance premiums, and as mentioned in the post above mine, taxes for the disabled, etc.
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Old 06-21-2009, 05:36 AM
 
Location: In a house
5,230 posts, read 7,308,045 times
Reputation: 2558
Quote:
Originally Posted by andthentherewere3 View Post
Actually, I think it does affect everyone monetarily, in the form of higher insurance premiums, and as mentioned in the post above mine, taxes for the disabled, etc.

Show us some stats.
I'd imagine that unless your buying motorcycle insurance it doesn't effect you.

The truth is thats an unfounded assumption, if it were true we'd have had helmet laws a long time ago in this state.

On anther note if you think insurance would get less expensive, as in premiums go down with a helmet law I think you are mistaken.
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Old 06-21-2009, 06:18 AM
 
5,065 posts, read 13,239,071 times
Reputation: 3497
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Knocker View Post
Show us some stats.
I'd imagine that unless your buying motorcycle insurance it doesn't effect you.

The truth is thats an unfounded assumption, if it were true we'd have had helmet laws a long time ago in this state.

On anther note if you think insurance would get less expensive, as in premiums go down with a helmet law I think you are mistaken.

Q&As: Motorcycle helmet use laws

Q&As: Motorcycle helmet use laws

Unhelmeted riders have higher health care costs as a result of their crash injuries, and many lack health insurance. In November 2002, NHTSA reported that 25 studies of the costs of injuries from motorcycle crashes "consistently found that helmet use reduced the fatality rate, probability and severity of head injuries, cost of medical treatment, length of hospital stay, necessity for special medical treatments, and probability of long-term disability. A number of studies examined the question of who pays for medical costs. Only slightly more than half of motorcycle crash victims have private health insurance coverage. For patients without private insurance, a majority of medical costs are paid by the government."23
Among the specific findings of several of the studies:
  • A 1996 NHTSA study showed average inpatient hospital charges for unhelmeted motorcyclists in crashes were 8 percent higher than for helmeted riders ($15,578 compared with $14,377).24
  • After California introduced a helmet use law in 1992, studies showed a decline in health care costs associated with head-injured motorcyclists. The rate of motorcyclists hospitalized for head injuries decreased by 48 percent in 1993 compared with 1991, and total costs for patients with head injuries decreased by $20.5 million during this period.25
  • A study of the effects of Nebraska's reinstated helmet use law on hospital costs found the total acute medical charges for injured motorcyclists declined 38 percent.14
A NHTSA evaluation of the weakening of Florida's universal helmet law in 2000 to exclude riders 21 and older who have at least $10,000 of medical insurance coverage found a huge increase in hospital admissions of cyclists with injuries to the head, brain, and skull. Such injuries went up 82 percent during the 30 months immediately following the law change. The average inflation-adjusted cost of treating these injuries went up from about $34,500 before the helmet law was weakened to nearly $40,000 after. Less than one-quarter of the injured motorcyclists would have been covered by the $10,000 medical insurance requirement for riders who chose not to use helmets.9
Studies conducted in Nebraska, Washington, California, and Massachusetts indicate how injured motorcyclists burden taxpayers. Forty-one percent of motorcyclists injured in Nebraska from January 1988 to January 1990 lacked health insurance or received Medicaid or Medicare.14 In Seattle, 63 percent of trauma care for injured motorcyclists in 1985 was paid by public funds.26 In Sacramento, public funds paid 82 percent of the costs to treat orthopedic injuries sustained by motorcyclists during 1980-83.27 Forty-six percent of motorcyclists treated at Massachusetts General Hospital during 1982-83 were uninsured.28
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Old 06-21-2009, 02:54 PM
 
266 posts, read 832,918 times
Reputation: 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctcoldplay11 View Post
A fatal motorcyle accident closed down Route 2 in Marlborough today, as the police said a car clipped a motorcyclist, sending him off the highway and into a patch of trees. It bothers me that everyone jumps to conclusions that the motorcyclist was traveling too fast or doing wheelies or any other dangerous activities, when it is almost ALWAYS another driver's fault for motorcyclist deaths. For too long have CT motorcyclists gone unprotected on our roads (I, myself do not even own a motorcycle) but I feel this is a very precedent CT issue. My father's close friend was killed in a motorcycle accident a few years ago when the driver of a car pulled out in front of him. Is it me or has this been an ongoing problem in our state? All in all, it's another sad day to see our CT residents killed needlessly on our roads...
I have had several family members killed on motorcycles. In all cases it was not their fault.
For the most part cyclists are very safe but don't do well when matched up with a 2 ton car. I myself ride a scooter as wel as a bike and have some pretty close calls. Unfortunately, most auto drivers do not see us. They are looking out for vehicles their own size.
Oh, and we always wear helmets and road rash suits!
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Old 06-23-2009, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Harwington CT
240 posts, read 1,165,164 times
Reputation: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by mickee56 View Post
In many cases, the motorcyclist would have at least some chance of survival if they wore a helmet. Live by the sword, die by the sword.
As a certified motorcycle training instructor in the state of Ct. , and as an experienced rider with well OVER 250,000 miles in the saddle I can tell you that your entering teritory you wish to stay out of. 1. NO helmet ever, EVER prevented an accident.. 2. Nationwide on average 79 out of 100 accidents are 100% the cause of a motorist (SUV, auto, pickup) 3. For every motorcyclist involved in a traffic accident, fewer that 10% involve HEAD injuries. 4. If you drive a 4x4 SUV or pickup (ie: Ranger, Colorado, S-10 etc) you are 30X more likely to incur a head injury than if you were on a motorcycle.
"live by the sword, Die by the sword" wow, thats a heavy cross to bear. You need to understand that chosing to ride a 2 wheeled motor vehicle (legal, plated and insured) is an option in this FREE country. I chose to ride over 300 days per year, and that choice does not come with a death certificate. Motorist would be more careful if there was an automatic 1 year sentance attached to any "failure to grant right of way" or "failure to obey traffic control device" in an auto vs. cycle accident.
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