Tag Archives: motorcycle accidents

A Tale of Two Accidents

The last time I paid any attention to Spurs was when Jurgen Klinsmann played for them, for while the mysteries of the off-side rule pass me by, I yield to no-one in my appreciation of a finely-turned Teutonic calf. That doesn’t stop me wincing at reports that their goalie will be out of action for some time with broken wrists and a damaged pelvis after an unplanned dismount from his GS.

His injuries, to my amateur mind, suggest an involuntary Superman across the bonnet of the Fiesta. But although the story has had a fair amount of exposure, I’ve yet to see any journalistic speculation that the accident might have been caused by the car driver. Cudicini seems to be regarded as a victim of his own recklessness in choosing a motorcycle.

Compare this with the reporting of Ronaldo’s confrontation between a tunnel wall and his Ferrari – he gets to be “forlorn and bewildered.”

I complained to the BBC about their report on Hairy Biker Si King’s recent crash, which gave the impression he’d stacked it of his own free will. It was the use of the word “thrown” that really offended me, as it’s a choice of words which just reinforces non-bikers’ prejudice that bikes are inherently unstable and risky. “Knocked” would have been more appropriate. Still waiting for a reply…

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Only two kinds of bikers exist – those who’ve dropped their bike, and those who are going to.

I love this list from Dave Dragon – 128 ways to drop your bike.

I should own up to 3, 5 (nearly), 38 (nearly), 64, 95 and 112.

Many thanks, in no particular order, to the 4 guys renovating a nearby house, the farmhand on his way home from a late shift, the man who thought he was popping to the post office to pick up some stamps not a 900cc Triumph, and my brother-in-law who turned out to have a very handy trailer with tie-downs and ramp. The one advantage of being a lady biker is that it’s OK to ask people to help you pick it up again!

Haven’t been guilty of 94 but it did make me laugh.

Thanks to the helmet hair blog for spotting the list!

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Crash Bang Wallop

I’ve been reading the TRL report, “The Accident Risk of Motorcyclists” (yes, I know I should get out more). Disappointingly it seems to prove that women are worse at this 2-wheel lark than men – while 11% of male bikers surveyed had an accident in the previous 12 months, 15% of females who took part in the survey had crashed.

Or maybe we’re just more honest in surveys!!

The good news is that the report also concludes that, contrary to lurid headlines, the accident rate per motorcycle or per km has been stable for a decade. So the case for speed limiters, bans from town centres and the many other strange ideas that get proposed to save us from ourselves remains unsupported by the evidence.

Other statistical gems: the average biker is 43 years old, and rides 4,677 miles a year. 245 of the study participants were over 70.

And finally – p 20 provides justification for bikers feeling superior – “Motorcycle riding is inherently much more demanding than car driving.” We knew that 🙂

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Reporting Road Accidents

Interersting column in Scotland on Sunday by Norman Harper.

After describing an incident he witnessed where a pedestrian sadly lost his life after starting to cross the road without chcecking properly for cars, he concludes “In any case, the next time you read of a pedestrian being knocked down and killed by a car, pause for a moment before assuming that the fault was the driver’s.”

I’d second that in spades for reporting of motorcycle deaths. A particularly egregious example from the Bucks Examiner still sticks in my mind – the headline was something like, “biker killed after hitting family car.” On getting to the final third of the story it was explained that the family car in question had done an unsignalled right turn across his path on a fast A-road, the driver admitted that he hadn’t checked for oncoming traffic – yet the casual reader of the piece will assume that it’s just another death-crazy biker who got what he was looking for. Would it have been so hard to write “being hit by”?

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