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  1. #1
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    Default Motorcycle accidents

    In the response area for our Department last week experienced two separate fatality motorcycle accidents in two days. In the past 3-5 years our area along with the increased gas prices has noticed an increase of motorcycle riders along with the increase of accidents/crashes. I am inquiring if other areas have also. Please respond to the following questions:
    1. Increase in motorcycles in your area?
    2. Increase in crashes and how many?
    3. Increase in Fatalities and how many?
    4. What state do you live in?
    5. Cruiser or sportbike which has the most incidents?
    6. Single or multivehicle accidents?
    William C. Allison II
    Fire Captain
    Tazewell County Fire-Rescue


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    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    While I dont have anything constructive concerning your query, my condolences for you and your crews on having two bad events almost back-to-back. Hope all who were involved are coping well, such events are never nice to deal with.

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    Just for the record in our area is as follows:
    1. YES--Motorcycles appeares to have doubled in number.
    2. YES--Crashes have increased 1 last year 3 this year
    3. YES--2 Fatalities this year
    4. Virginia
    5. Cruiser style bikes (this shocked me)
    6. 2 single 1 multi (SUZ pulled into path of oncomming bike)
    William C. Allison II
    Fire Captain
    Tazewell County Fire-Rescue

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    While I dont have anything constructive concerning your query, my condolences for you and your crews on having two bad events almost back-to-back. Hope all who were involved are coping well, such events are never nice to deal with.
    MalahatTwo7--Thanks for your concern and comment. The crews appear to be coping with the incidents fine to date. As one of six of our members who are also motorcycle riders it was not until this past Sunday till I got mine out and rode it, I think that it was also the same day before 3 others did also. I feel great compasion for the individuals and family losses and it was a wake up call for me to think just a little safer while riding. Stay Safe and Ride Safe...
    William C. Allison II
    Fire Captain
    Tazewell County Fire-Rescue

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    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Captain - I know where you're coming from, the same thoughts and questions cross our minds as well. I'll try to answer your questions and elaborate a bit.

    1. Use of Motorcycles...... We haven't really noticed an upsurge in the amount of bikes on the streets.

    2. I Don't have any numbers, but a "Gut Feeling" is that Crashes aren't up much over last year.

    3. Same as #2. PD Keeps score on these things, not us.

    4. Maryland - Washington DC suburbs.

    5. "Cruiser or Sport Bike"??? Those terms aren't used here, so I assume you mean a Harley Davidson or a Rice Burning Crotch Rocket. Far more crashes involve the Crotch Rockets. Now - This is a Fact! - When a Harley is involved, 90% of the time the Motorcyclist is NOT at Fault. BUT, when a Rocket is involved, only about 25% of the Crashes are someone eles's fault.

    6. Usually single Bike vs Tree, Guard Rail, Oncoming Semi, Parked Car, Dumpster, Fence, Etc................

    My observations are based on running a lot of calls, over a long period of time, in a Very Busy area. We see a few Bike crashes a month, (adjusted for weather) and Holiday Weekends seem to be the worst. Currently, about a dozen of our Members ride, all on Harleys, except a rookie that still has a Rocket. My late Brother had a Full Dress Hog and a couple of Sportsters for years. My interest in Motorcycles was brief, around my early 20's.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcfrmedic2 View Post
    In the response area for our Department last week experienced two separate fatality motorcycle accidents in two days. In the past 3-5 years our area along with the increased gas prices has noticed an increase of motorcycle riders along with the increase of accidents/crashes. I am inquiring if other areas have also. Please respond to the following questions:
    1. Increase in motorcycles in your area?
    2. Increase in crashes and how many?
    3. Increase in Fatalities and how many?
    4. What state do you live in?
    5. Cruiser or sportbike which has the most incidents?
    6. Single or multivehicle accidents?
    1.) Yes there is an increase
    2.) 1 mutual aided, first due none ... usually 3 a year for me... (probably get one tonight after I post this)
    3.) No
    4.) OH....IO
    5.) Sportbikes usually
    6.) multivehicles , 70% person was an idiot behind a wheel, 30 % for thoses riding the bikes
    Originally Posted by madden01
    "and everyone is encouraged to use Plain, Spelled Out English. I thought this was covered in NIMS training."

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    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    Wait until your pager reads "Bike v Bike".

    THAT is an "Oh Schmidt" moment.

    It was a head on between a Harley and Kawasaki 1100.

    3 x vics, 6 broken legs, 6 broken arms and all the other injuries.
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

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    1. Yes, mainly those freaking scooter things
    2. Maybe a slight increase, no statistics to actually back that, though.
    3. Not that I'm aware of.
    4. Missouri
    5. The aforementioned scooters, mainly. Though I've seen more with guys riding older cruisers than anything. It seems like the 30-50 crowd are buying more of the 80's or 90's vintage metric cruisers around here. We still have the kids on crotch rockets, but they're getting outnumbered (I think the Darwin thing is weeding them out)
    6. Mainly multiple vehicle (some idiot hit the bike swearing "I didn't see him"). Although, I've had no less than three incidents in recent years where someone's got their front wheel stuck in a railroad crossing and it threw their bike.

    I personally think that anyone who seeks a motorcycle license (or wants to renew) should have to show proof of completing a motorcycle safety course within X number of years. I think it'd alleviate a lot of the stupid mistakes made by inexperienced riders. This I'm speaking from experience. I learned more in a day of an MSF ERC than I did in 10 years of riding.

    Of course, you're never going to remove the stupidity factor, or the factor of other people not seeing a motorcycle.

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    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    1. Increase in motorcycles in your area?
    yes
    2. Increase in crashes and how many?
    yes, not sure on the numbers without looking it up. Noticed an increase in crashes and deaths over the last 5 years
    3. Increase in Fatalities and how many?
    again, not sure on numbers but it has increased
    4. What state do you live in?
    Western Wisconsin
    5. Cruiser or sportbike which has the most incidents?
    It seems to be both roadster type (Harley) and cafe style (crotch rocket).
    6. Single or multivehicle accidents?
    It has been both really. More car vs. cycle and more cycle vs. thing

    My wife is a critical care nurse at a local hospital and she has noticed and increase in head injuries resulting in deaths from this part of the state. I think the reasons are two fold. One...bikes are becoming more popular and more affordable for people. Two....helmet optional laws. In WI we do not require a helmet 18years of age or older. This alone is a cause of deaths but I think it really is increasing lately. Not sure if it is the dumbing down of the next generation or just a choice not to protect their melons.
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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  10. #10
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    Quoted by--Catch22--"I personally think that anyone who seeks a motorcycle license (or wants to renew) should have to show proof of completing a motorcycle safety course within X number of years. I think it'd alleviate a lot of the stupid mistakes made by inexperienced riders. This I'm speaking from experience. I learned more in a day of an MSF ERC than I did in 10 years of riding."

    Two of the last three of our accidents the riders did have an approved rider safety class. In Virginia you have a choice of taking the Department of Motor Vehicles road course test which is very difficult and has a very high fail rate. For the rider to pass this test he/she must be very familiar with their bike and balance and speed are very critical to ones sucess. The other option for a rider (on a 250 cc bike) is to take an approved safety class at which time of completion they take their certificate into DMV and thier license is issued. Insurance companies are giving discounts to riders who have completed these classes so they have become very popular for these reasons. Thanks for sharing you information with me.
    William C. Allison II
    Fire Captain
    Tazewell County Fire-Rescue

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post

    Two....helmet optional laws. In WI we do not require a helmet 18years of age or older. This alone is a cause of deaths but I think it really is increasing lately. Not sure if it is the dumbing down of the next generation or just a choice not to protect their melons.
    Virginia and all of its surrounding states do have helmet laws in place. I never have really understood the states with "Helmet Optional Laws" unless it is an attempt to curb and/or control the repreduction of a less intelegent being. Just joking I have rode though states the do have this law whereas I have chosen to still wear mine.
    William C. Allison II
    Fire Captain
    Tazewell County Fire-Rescue

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcfrmedic2 View Post
    Two of the last three of our accidents the riders did have an approved rider safety class. In Virginia you have a choice of taking the Department of Motor Vehicles road course test which is very difficult and has a very high fail rate. For the rider to pass this test he/she must be very familiar with their bike and balance and speed are very critical to ones sucess. The other option for a rider (on a 250 cc bike) is to take an approved safety class at which time of completion they take their certificate into DMV and thier license is issued. Insurance companies are giving discounts to riders who have completed these classes so they have become very popular for these reasons. Thanks for sharing you information with me.
    I should probably clarify an Experienced Rider's Course. Missouri has a similar program, where they'll take accept a MSF BRC course in lieu of their driving portion. You still have to take the written.

    I've never taken the BRC, but I was enlightened a bit this weekend when I went on a long ride with my brother, who did take it but hasn't had the ERC. Apparently there's some differences. Just as an example, in the ERC you're taught to "roll out" of a corner by increasing throttle. Judging by the fact I got a bit too close to him in corners and the subsequent conversation, that's not taught in the BRC. So, allow me to add they should get the ERC, as well.

    I'm of the opinion that there should be more support of these programs by public safety agencies. I've seen home safety inspections, car seat programs, trick-or-treat programs, and the like, but have never seen a PD, FD, or EMS agency sponsor a motorcycle safety class. I've even seen MoDOT put messages on their signs to be aware of motorcyclists. Might be worth looking into getting a class if you're having major issues. Maybe even work with some of the local motorcycle groups you may have, like HOG, GWRRA, etc.

  13. #13
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Harve...

    I hope you don't mind.. I "borrowed" most of your comments!

    1. Use of Motorcycles...... We haven't really noticed an upsurge in the amount of bikes on the streets.

    2. I Don't have any numbers, but a "Gut Feeling" is that Crashes aren't up much over last year.

    3. Same as #2. PD Keeps score on these things, not us.

    4. Between Boston and Worcester.

    5. "Cruiser or Sport Bike"??? Far more crashes involve sport bikes... driven by 20 somethings with a death wish!

    6. Usually single Bike vs Tree, Guard Rail, Oncoming Semi, Parked Car, Dumpster, Fence, Etc................

    7. There are two kids in my neighborhood that come up the road at about 70+ mph. Just past my side street (the casa de Gonz is on the corner) there is a slight bend in the road. One of these days, they are going to come screaming up the road and I will hear the sickening sound of metal on metal.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcfrmedic2 View Post
    Virginia and all of its surrounding states do have helmet laws in place. I never have really understood the states with "Helmet Optional Laws" unless it is an attempt to curb and/or control the repreduction of a less intelegent being. Just joking I have rode though states the do have this law whereas I have chosen to still wear mine.
    Missouri's governor recently vetoed a helmet optional law. From my understanding, a lot of it had to do with pressure from the health and public safety groups who were against it.

    From what I've always understood about supporters of these laws it that it should be the riders "right" to decide whether they wear a helmet (much of the same argument about seatbelts).

    Apparently the concept that driving anything is a privilege, not a right, has been lost somewhere. The supporters also neglect to mention how much it costs the taxpayers to assist with the medical bills of those injured when they aren't wearing a helmet. Thankfully that point was brought to the forefront in the dicussion here in Missouri.

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    Actually, NO Gonz. Just that little overrevved chainsaw sound followed by a sonic boom and a little whup(like Wile Coyote)THEN followed by screaming(maybe).We're seeing an increase but it's been gradual over the last 5 or 6 years.Luckily we've had some decent outcomes. They make an awful mess of a car side though. T.C.

  16. #16
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Every nice day the scanner comes alive with motorcycle wrecks.

    Yes, there are more. Motorcycles are definitly more popular and very suburban.

    Yes we see more wrecks.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

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  17. #17
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Talking Hmmm.........

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Harve...

    I hope you don't mind.. I "borrowed" most of your comments!

    1. Use of Motorcycles...... We haven't really noticed an upsurge in the amount of bikes on the streets.

    2. I Don't have any numbers, but a "Gut Feeling" is that Crashes aren't up much over last year.

    3. Same as #2. PD Keeps score on these things, not us.

    4. Between Boston and Worcester.

    5. "Cruiser or Sport Bike"??? Far more crashes involve sport bikes... driven by 20 somethings with a death wish!

    6. Usually single Bike vs Tree, Guard Rail, Oncoming Semi, Parked Car, Dumpster, Fence, Etc................

    7. There are two kids in my neighborhood that come up the road at about 70+ mph. Just past my side street (the casa de Gonz is on the corner) there is a slight bend in the road. One of these days, they are going to come screaming up the road and I will hear the sickening sound of metal on metal.


    Careful there Chief, Folks will think we agree on things.....

    And Dickey, Helmets are required in Maryland. I'm thinking that the State Legislature is constantly trying to thwart Darwin's efforts......
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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  18. #18
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Careful there Chief, Folks will think we agree on things.....

    And Dickey, Helmets are required in Maryland. I'm thinking that the State Legislature is constantly trying to thwart Darwin's efforts......
    Harve.. I think we agree on 99% of things... give or take a few points.

    Massachusetts also has a helmet law. Most of the Harley guys wear the "yarmulke" lids, the crotch rocketeers wear the full helmets.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    About 20 years ago now, a very outspoken, a little cracked, and totally extreme congressman for Wisconsin was very outspoken against the helmet law. He rallied the riders (he rides himself to this day) to support him and the entire WI congress bowed down and did not pass a mandatory helmet law.

    I would love to see some statistics between WI and another state with a mandatory law to see if we are higher or not.

    Obviously, without a helmet, you get major head trauma which leads to brain swelling which leads to death. My wife mentioned that in the spring of every year, there are lots of cycle crashes, even before the streets are swept off from all the sand dropped over the winter. Just about every victim is involved with some sort of head trauma.

    Who knows, maybe it is a way of thinning out the herd...
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=Dickey;1086657]
    I would love to see some statistics between WI and another state with a mandatory law to see if we are higher or not.

    You got the gears in my head turning so I did some research, unfortunately 2007 data is the newest that I could get my hands on but here it is:

    Year Injuries Fatalities License Endorcements Registrations
    2004 1802 56 3.5% increase 13.0% increase
    2005 2006 68 4.2% Increase 10.9% Increase
    2006 2006 70 4.7% Increase 10.9% Increase
    2007 2284 126 5.0% Increase 9.0% Increase

    Virginia is a "Required Helmet Wearing Law" State.

    Virginia showed the highest increase in Motorcycle License Endorcements in the year 2001 of 21.9% from the previous year.

    In 2007 Virginia's Motorcycle fatalities showed an increase of 125% from the previous 5 years.

    2007 data showed that there were a total of 312,588 Motorcycle Endorced Licenses and only 165,584 motorcycles registered thru the Department of Motor Vehicles in Virginia.
    William C. Allison II
    Fire Captain
    Tazewell County Fire-Rescue

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