Friday, January 3, 2014

Mid-Life Motorcyclists Keeping New Zealand Funeral Directors Busy

I actually like motorcycles, prefer motorbike racing to car racing.  

I once owned a Honda C125 and CB350.      

Great machines.  

Then I had a ‘life changing event’ in my early twenties when I thought I was going to die on the CB350. 

But god (tongue firmly in cheek) intervened, prevented my premature demise, but from that day forward I was sworn-off motorbikes.   

On a good-day and the right road it’s hard to beat that ‘alive’ feeling you get on a motorbike.   

The fact still remains (Transport NZ Crash Facts 2012) you are 22 times more likely to be involved in a fatal or injury crash on a motor bike than in a car over the same distance.  

Take some time to count to 22.  

Sure some of the disproportionate risk hopping on a bike can be put down to other motorists crashing into innocent riders.  

The stats say approx. one third.  

Regardless of who is to blame that doesn’t diminish the relative danger riding a motorbike nor those stark stats.  

Bad drivers crash into other cars as well.  

What is apparent from the accident figures are the high number of number + 40 y.o’s involved in accidents.  

More than the entire age group 15 to 30 who, let’s not forget are notorious for their dangerous driving habits behind the wheel.    

In the two years 2011-12 just one Kiwi motorcyclist aged 15 to 20 died on our roads compared to 52 aged 40 and above.  

This difference is probably down to the type of bikes both demographics were adopting.   

Teens and twenties come off their scooters, low cc bikes during the week and the ‘mid-life crisis’ rider their 750 plus bikes over weekends.    

The difference between predominately low speed accidents in urban environments for junior versus high speed ones for ‘the old man’ blatting around the countryside.  

Regardless of engine size, demographics there’s no escaping a staggering 27 per cent of motorbike riders involved in accidents were either drunk or drugged!  

36 per cent of motorcyclist crashes involve a bike with a cc rating over 750cc. 

That’s way disproportionate to the numbers.  

When you ‘crunch’ these stats it’s obvious the mid-life weekend warriors Harley owner has a risk-factor versus driving a car the same distance well above that 22 times average.  

By my maths it’s 40 times or more, but it’s fair to say I failed school cert mathematics.      

Freedom comes at a price.  

One I’m not willing to pay.

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