January 22, 2005


Motorcycle boomer deaths raise concerns (DAVID SHARP, 1/21/05, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Safety experts suspect older motorcycle riders with a lot of disposable income are buying more machines than their aging, out-of-practice bodies can handle.

Across the country, the annual number of motorcycle fatalities among 40-plus riders tripled over the past decade to 1,674 in 2003, while deaths among riders under 30 dropped slightly to 1,161, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

According to NHTSA, the average age of motorcyclists killed in accidents rose from 32 in 1994 to 38 in 2003.

"It's really kind of astonishing. The ages of these fatalities are so high. You would think it would be all of the young kids on those fast bikes, but it's not," said Carl Hallman, highway safety coordinator with the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 22, 2005 10:24 AM

these boomer types should stick to pony-tails and roller-blades. that way, only their dignity suffers...however you do it, driving the drones out of the hive is a necessary process.

Posted by: chris markle at January 22, 2005 3:36 PM

No, no, no.

The more die, the better off SS is.

This is a feature, not a bug.

Posted by: Sandy P at January 22, 2005 3:44 PM

The good thing about motorcycles is that you only end up killing yourself. They aren't massive enough to kill other drivers unless that person is driving a boomer-sanctioned econo-box hybrid.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 22, 2005 3:50 PM

Draft-dodgers. Ending a life of guilt and shame. If no one else knew what they did to pursue their other priorities, they knew.

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 22, 2005 5:15 PM

Motorcycles are neat to ride, maybe that should be used to be neat to ride. I own two Harleys; a 1979 Low Rider and a 1993 DynaWide Glide. Both black with orange piping. I don't ride either one now because the traffic here in Phoenix has grown around me. I can't get to the open highway anymore for fear of sudden death. On 60, or Superstition, they call it one has to ride at 80 MPH with a car 10 feet in front, 5 feet on either side and a clown about 15 feet behind. Add to that I'm 67 years old. I just sit in the garage now and crank one up to hear the throb and dream of the open road and days past. Sigh!

Posted by: at January 22, 2005 5:23 PM

all the ER folks I know call them "donorcycles".

Posted by: Judd at January 22, 2005 5:24 PM


It is unpleasant though to scrape one of them off your hood.

Posted by: oj at January 22, 2005 5:42 PM

No worse than an elk, and because of the obligatory leather costumes they wear, the don't tend to explode the way deer or elk do.

And somone needs to remind these "Easy Riders" that, for most people, that movie had a happy ending.

(When it's 07:30 on a beautiful morning, you are hiking nearly ten miles from the nearest road, and can clearly hear a Harley that's on its way to Sturgis roaring its way up the pass, it becomes easy to hate those things, and be sympathetic to those who complain about noise in National Parks and other such out-of-the-way places.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 22, 2005 7:34 PM

The elk don't sue.

Posted by: oj at January 22, 2005 9:00 PM

The safety nazis chum with some cherry-picked stats, and the suckers are roiling the waters.

Go back and look at per-mile numbers. Sure there
are more fatalities, but this is a function of the increased numbers of riders.

I'm in my 60's, I cut off my braid when my hair started thinning 3 years ago, I'm not depending on SS, ER folks in general are afflicted with the "MD (or related)-as-god" delusion, and since about 70% of the car-mc accidents are caused by the auto driver "not seeing" the bike and turning in front of them, maybe you should watch where you're going so you don't have to scrape them off your hood, oj.

I ride a bike that will blow the doors (figuratively) off any Harley out there, puts miles and miles on comfortably, and makes about the same level of noise as the typical econobox. I put 10k+ miles a year on it, but I get lumped in with the loud-pipe jerks who ride from bar to bar 5 or 6 weekends a year.

YOu think you're pissed?

Posted by: bud at January 22, 2005 9:07 PM

As bud says, the real story is in rate--glaringly missing from the story--not quantity

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at January 22, 2005 9:38 PM

"70% of the car-mc accidents are caused by the auto driver "not seeing" the bike and turning in front of them, maybe you should watch where you're going so you don't have to scrape them off your hood"

It would seem the bike rider should change his assumptions rather than worry if others are watching where they are going. Then again, you don't have to if you don't want to.

Posted by: h-man at January 23, 2005 7:31 AM


That's what happened with the guy I hit. He was drunk, going too fast, and crossed a double yellow to pass the truck in front of him making a right as I made a left. Crinkled my license plate and put him in the hospital for months. Seemed just.

Posted by: oj at January 23, 2005 9:15 AM