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Thread: NY Times On HLDI Study: Helmets & ABS Good, Safety Courses Not Effective

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    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    NY Times On HLDI Study: Helmets & ABS Good, Safety Courses Not Effective

    Here's something I found online in the NYTimes website today. Looks like it was posted online yesterday. Seems to be a distillation of Highway Loss Data Institute information:


    Motorcycle Training Does Not Reduce Crash Risk, Study Says
    By CHERYL JENSEN
    Courses designed to make new motorcyclists safer are not decreasing crashes, according to a new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute, an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. However, research also shows that helmets and antilock brakes on motorcycles are life savers.

    “We are not saying they aren’t supposed to get training, but we need to have realistic expectations about what training can do,” said Anne McCartt, the senior vice president for research at the Insurance Institute, which is funded by the insurance industry.

    These findings are part of a number of studies the institutes have just released on motorcycles. The groups have looked at antilock brakes, helmet laws and rider training programs to see what role they play in keeping riders safe and preventing deaths.

    The issue is that as ridership has increased, so has the number of fatal crashes. Motorcycle registrations rose to 7.7 million in 2008, which is up from 4.3 million in 2000, according to R.L. Polk & Company data. Rider deaths topped 5,000 in 2008, more than in any year since 1975, when the government began collecting fatal crash data.

    Eight out of 10 motorcycle crashes result in injury or death, compared with two out of 10 car crashes, the study found. It makes sense, because motorcycle riders don’t ride in a cocoon with crush space, seat belts and airbags to protect them.

    But some things do help prevent deaths.

    The study shows that motorcycles with antilock brakes are 37 percent less likely to be involved in fatal crashes, and buyers can now find them on at least 60 new models, according to the institute. And helmets reduce the likelihood of a death in a crash by 37 percent.

    What is not so certain are the safety benefits of mandatory training programs for young drivers in some states. The study compared insurance claims in four states that require riders under 21 to take courses with states that do not. The study noted a 10 percent increase in crashes in states that required the courses.

    But that finding wasn’t “statistically significant,” Ms. McCartt said. That means the increase might or might not be real, although the institute found it worth noting. “It is important that it was going in the opposite direction of what people would expect,” she said.

    While it seems counterintuitive that more education couldn’t be a good thing, this finding is similar to other research on driver education for teenagers that has concluded that driver education hasn’t been shown to reduce car crashes, Ms. McCartt said.

    “I certainly think it is compelling that rider training classes don’t seem to be keeping people safer,” she said. “People need to know how to operate motorcycles, and I think a training course would be a good way for someone to learn how to do that.”

    But, she said, it may be that a training class does not change the “potential risk-taking behaviors that are associated with crashes – speeding, alcohol, the type of bike you are riding. There is a lot a class can’t do.”

    Robert Gladden, the general manager of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation — an industry-sponsored group that promotes safety through rider training and education, operator licensing tests and public information programs — said he had no comment on the findings because the foundation “would have to spend quite a bit of time going through their data to either verify or validate it.”
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    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Anything the insurance industry has to say about anything is motivated by increasing their profits and nothing else.
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    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    Anything the insurance industry has to say about anything is motivated by increasing their profits and nothing else.


    add to that the fact that the story is in the new york times!

    seriously, it would not surprise me at all that the basic MSF course hasn't made a real impact on safety. it was pretty much an invention of the Motorcycle Industry Council to get more butts into seats while minimizing product liability lawsuits.

    i wish the licensing certifications in the USA were more strict, and had a strong training component.

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    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    anything the insurance industry has to say about anything is motivated by increasing their profits and nothing else.
    +1

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    univers zero tessler's Avatar
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    I think the reader-comments following the actual article are well worth visiting.

    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2010...sk-study-says/

    I find this last statement by Mr. Gladden curiously frustrating. The industry as a whole is rarely visited by professional research, so why not take the time to go through the data, whatever the source? This seems a bit lazy and reactionary to me.

    Robert Gladden, the general manager of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation ÔÇö an industry-sponsored group that promotes safety through rider training and education, operator licensing tests and public information programs ÔÇö said he had no comment on the findings because the foundation ÔÇ£would have to spend quite a bit of time going through their data to either verify or validate it.ÔÇØ
    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    i wish the licensing certifications in the USA were more strict, and had a strong training component.
    +1. Now that's something I'd get behind.

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    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post


    add to that the fact that the story is in the new york times!

    seriously, it would not surprise me at all that the basic MSF course hasn't made a real impact on safety. it was pretty much an invention of the Motorcycle Industry Council to get more butts into seats while minimizing product liability lawsuits.

    i wish the licensing certifications in the USA were more strict, and had a strong training component.

    ian
    yeah, well like the article pointed out, training won't change the fact that young folks think they are immune to death, I know I was in my 20's! (based on the fact I'm still here and considering what I did, how I rode on motorcycles and just life in general!)

    I wish they would crack down on licensing and make it nearly impossible to get one now, way to many bikers out there and I'm getting REALLY tired of waving all the time! my left arm is proportionally way out of scale with right! (no, really..)

    RM

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    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketman View Post
    I wish they would crack down on licensing and make it nearly impossible to get one now, way to many bikers out there and I'm getting REALLY tired of waving all the time! my left arm is proportionally way out of scale with right! (no, really..)

    RM


    no, really... at a minimum i feel that we should have a graduated licensing system.

    the fact that a kid can go out and buy a "boosa" without any training or restriction whatsoever is absolutely nuts.

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    Registered User amiles's Avatar
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    Quoted in part from the article:

    ""What is not so certain are the safety benefits of mandatory training programs for young drivers in some states. The study compared insurance claims in four states that require riders under 21 to take courses with states that do not. The study noted a 10 percent increase in crashes in states that required the courses.""


    I seem to recall reading that the largest group currently suffering Motorcycle highway deaths were middle aged men presumably re-entering the fold after a lengthy time away from bikes.

    Could the insurance industry be using a "smoke screen"?

    Remember when Joan Claybrook head of NHTSA under the Carter administration came out against training for motorcyclists. Her reason was that motorcycling was just too dangerous period any training offered would simply encourage people to their untimely deaths.

    Some things never go away.

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    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketman View Post
    yeah, well like the article pointed out, training won't change the fact that young folks think they are immune to death, I know I was in my 20's!
    Ah yes, my first lesson:

    "Don't use the front brake, it will put you over the handlebars."

    Beyond that, all I could find for training materials in 1970 was one book. It was an antediluvian predecessor to the David Hough books.
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    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    The problem with the MSF courses is that they teach you how to operate a 250cc motorcycle in a parking lot. I operate a 1150cc motorcycle on busy roads and highways.

    We need to employ the British model, where a strict licensing examiner follows you around, critiquing your riding skills. Unskilled riders must take courses and exams until they pass.

    Here in the U.S., spend a couple hours walking a Honda Rebel around a parking lot, take a written test the examiner won't let you fail, and you've got your license. It's a complete and total joke.
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    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post


    no, really... at a minimum i feel that we should have a graduated licensing system.

    the fact that a kid can go out and buy a "boosa" without any training or restriction whatsoever is absolutely nuts.
    That is a serious issue...especially around Ft Hood and soldiers stationed there or coming home from overseas...It got so bad the base commander stepped in with required minimal training before you came on his base. Lot's of fatalities in the area with his soldiers on very fast bikes.

    Doesn't Great Britain have a graduated license system?
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    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by henzilla View Post
    That is a serious issue...especially around Ft Hood and soldiers stationed there or coming home from overseas...It got so bad the base commander stepped in with required minimal training before you came on his base. Lot's of fatalities in the area with his soldiers on very fast bikes.

    Doesn't Great Britain have a graduated license system?
    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring...eds/DG_4022568
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    It ain't easy bein Cheezy cheesewhiz's Avatar
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    That report forget to mention the increase in safety by having LOUD PIPES!!!




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    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheesewhiz View Post
    That report forget to mention the increase in safety by having LOUD PIPES!!!




    I was discussing "loud pipes save lives" with a fellow rider last night. He was an adherent to the mantra. I mentioned the "Doppler Effect" as a reason as to why "loud pipes save lives" is a failed theory. He looked at me as if I had three heads on top of my shoulder.

    This often is the result when physics trump an urban legend.
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    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by henzilla View Post
    That is a serious issue...especially around Ft Hood and soldiers stationed there or coming home from overseas...It got so bad the base commander stepped in with required minimal training before you came on his base. Lot's of fatalities in the area with his soldiers on very fast bikes.
    in this respect, the MSF does a great job.

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