One of the 11 riders that died apparently suffered a heart attack while riding. I think you can throw that one out as just plain weird. But the article goes on to say that all but two of these accidents were the fault of the motorcyclist. The paper went on to say that this is in sharp contrast to national statistics that indicate that 77% of fatal motorcycle accidents are the fault of automobile drivers.
Excessive speed was an issue in some of the accidents. Alcohol may have been a factor in some accidents as well as mistakes by automobile drivers. But, oddly enough, it appears that the rider's ability to safely negotiate a turn or a curve was the problem in some of these accidents and in many cases, no other vehicle was involved.
The reporter interviewed a local safety instructor, Joe Gattenby, that runs a company that offers training courses for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Joe is a great guy. I have spoken with him before and even had his wife in one of my accounting classes that I teach at a local college. It is hard to get in one of his classes as his courses are booked up well in advance.
Joe's analysis or explanation is that inexperience and lack of training may have played significant roles in a lot of these accidents. He stated that a lot of riders get their motorcycle licenses without taking a training course and that maybe some of those people are more interested in the fun aspect of riding and are not aware of, or ignore, the dangers involved. He went on to suggest that training should maybe be mandatory for getting a license.
Joe said you can't be just paying attention to what's immediately in front of you. You have to be driving a couple of blocks ahead and anticipating the worst of what could happen.
Joe had 3 suggestions that all motorcyclists should follow and be aware of:
1) Proper Gear and Clothing
2) Understand how to safely execute corners and curves
3) Understand and be proficient at various emergency maneuver techniques.
Ride Safe Out There!