Avoid organ donation
Improving your odds on the road
by John B. Larrimer
Unfortunately, there's a reason that the ER staff refer to motorcyclists as "organ donors." Statistically, motorcycles are more dangerous than cars, trucks, buses, and most other modes of transportation - about 16 times as dangerous, according to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; 97 percent of motorcycle accidents result in injury, 45 percent of which are serious.
Aggregate statistics, however, don't always tell the whole story. Just as savvy card players can improve their odds by application of a few simple principals (e.g., don't draw to an inside straight, don't take a hit on 19, always split aces), so can the savvy motorcyclist.
A study of 4,500 motorcycle accidents conducted by the University of Southern California, entitled "Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Counter Measures" (get the full story at www.zip.com.au/~cs/moto/hurt-study-summary.html) yields some illuminating facts:
- Three fourths (75 percent) of motorcycle accidents involve collision with another vehicle usually a car.
- Intersections are the most likely place for auto/motorcycle collisions, with the auto violating the motorcycle right-of-way, and often violating traffic controls; 20 percent of motorcyclist fatalities result from collisions with cars pulling out of alleys.