Now, don't get me wrong. I am the first person to say that 2 wheeled vehiclists need to be very concerned for their own safety. But that statistic might be a little more alarming at first glance than it really needs to be.
What that statistic really tells me is that If you are involved in a serious accident, then you are much better off in a car than on a motorized 2 wheeled vehicle.
Consider the following:
There are over 200 million registered vehicles in the US. Motorcycles represent approximately 3% of registered vehicles, but motorcyclists represent approximately 13% of fatalities. That's not good, but I also don't think too surprising. We 2 wheeled vehiclists don't have a cage around us or air bags.
Estimated total miles traveled by all vehicles in a year is just over 3 trillion miles. That's a 3 with 12 zeros behind it. It can be hard to understand how big a number like that is. Our government doesn't have a clue when it comes to our national debt, but don't get me started on that, it's another topic.
I am going to round the numbers a bit, but, sadly, close to 40,000 people die in traffic fatalities each year. About 5,000 of those are motorcyclists.
If you divide the number of miles driven by the number of fatalities, then theoretically you can drive 75 million miles before you statistically would die in an accident. For motorcyclists that number would be reduced to a little over 2 million miles.
For injury accidents (without a death) the rates are approximately 60 times higher than the fatality rates on average for all vehicles.
But even for motorcyclists, using that rate, you could theoretically go 33,000 miles before you would have an injury accident, on average.
Keep in mind that my numbers are greatly simplified and include gross generalizations. I went to the NHTSA website to get some of this information. Many people know a lot more about this than me, and have done much more research than I have.
Of course it is sad when any life is ended in this manner, and injury accident rates (without a death) can look a but ominous, but the odds really aren't all that bad. Sometimes your number just comes up. When you compare numbers like this to things like being struck by lightning, or being mugged, or lots of other things, you begin to realize that it is just life. Sometimes things just happen no matter how careful you are.
My feeling about this is that it is quite possible that I may be involved in an injury accident someday with my scooter, but I can take many steps to minimize the risks. Wearing gear is like using a seat belt to me. Being very attentive to my surroundings and not taking unnecessary chances as I ride is imperative. Not driving like a bat out of hell is advisable. Training and an effort to continually improve your abilities are important. etc. My hope is that by taking precautions that I can stretch out that 33,000 mile number out to 50,000 or even more.
The point of this little exercise was to come up with something to say to these people that apparently think I have "lost it" by endangering myself so foolishly by riding a scooter. I full well realize that no matter what I say to them or what statistics I can show them to back it up, they are still going to either be concerned about me or think I am foolish. To them I can only say:
See Ya Later !!!
I'm going for a ride !!!
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