Sunday, May 15, 2011

Is motorcycling dumb?

I just passed my motorcycle test. I wish I had asked about statistics on motorcycle safety during the class. I found this and this and this, all of which make it seem like motorcycling is indeed much more dangerous than car driving. Perhaps an order of magnitude more dangerous!

But drawing facts relevant to me out of this is hard! Here are at least four good reasons (and I may repeat some of them) that make it seem not totally absurd for me to ride motorcycles:
1. I am not into sport bikes
1. I am not into dirt bikes
1. I am not into really any kind of fast bikes
1. I pretty much want to ride a moped at like 40 mph tops on country roads
2. actually I just want to ride a moped in Asia
    a. maybe that makes things dangerous, because Asia (particularly India) is insane
    b. however, maybe that makes things safer, as they are much much more used to motorcycles there than here, and the biggest danger here is cars not seeing you (citation needed)
    c. I am not ruling out ever motorcycling in the States, but if I did that I would have to consider more safety statistics more
3. okay okay I don't drink and drive obv (this is apparently even a bigger contributor to motorcycle accidents than car accidents)
4. I just took a motorcycler safety course
1. but really, I am just not interested in fast bikes. I am encouraged by this:
"Not all powered two wheelers have the same level of risk. The relative risk of being killed per hundred million vehicle kilometres overall in 1988 when comparing motorbikes to cars was 8.4, and for bikes and pedal cycles, 2.9. However, the relative risk for mopeds which may be used by a different user group at lower speeds was 2.3 when compared to cars, and 0.9 when compared to pedal cycles, making them favourable by comparison."
And I already ride bicycles, so I'm not increasing my risk. (which leads to: is bicycling dangerous? well, this is per mile, so my 2 mile bike commute is much safer than a driver's 10 mile commute.)

Conclusions:
- mopedding/motorcycling slowly as an occasional hobby (say, in Asia) is not absurd
- mopedding as a daily commute is reasonably dangerous (like bicycling), so I will take care and get all the gear and wrap myself in day-glo if that situation enters my future
- riding a real motorcycle on highways and stuff occasionally may not be absurd (again, I am not interested in this, don't worry, Mom and Dad)
- riding a real motorcycle fast as a daily commute, or riding anything faster/fancier, is probably Actually Dangerous (unless you are a real pro)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't wanna a pickle, I just wanna ride my motorcycle.

Dan Tasse said...

<3 anonymous commenters.