Half The Story
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) recently released the results of their Motorcyclist Traffic Fatality 2012 preliminary report and the results are unfortunately distorted to present one single sided solution to motorcyclist safety.
The GHSA is blaming the expected rise in motorcyclist's deaths largely on the extremely mild weather in 2012. They also cite the economy improving, allowing households to find themselves with discretionary income. Lastly, they acknowledged the fact that gas prices are at record highs and the desire for high mile per gallon vehicles is increasing.
To quote the study:
Riders will 'use their fuel-efficient motorcycles rather than automobiles for commuting and other everyday travel,' thus increasing rider deaths.
'An improving economy produces more discretionary income with which to buy and ride motorcycles' - Source: GHSA
Those are facts. Warm days, extra cash and a way to beat the gas prices. It would be very difficult to argue that those factors would not increase the amount of motorcyclists on the roads. Simple arithmetic shows that more motorcyclists on the roads will increase the chances that more are going to crash. The same equation works for all vehicle types.
Still the GHSA paints a very morbid picture and uses this false platform to push for mandatory helmet laws. After all motorcyclist fatalities are up. What they never mention is, so are registrations for motorcycles.
The study's author James Hedlund, formerly of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, had this to say in an interview about the study, 'I found that over the past three decades, the number of registrations tracks closely with the number of deaths'.
The long-term fatality flow chart used in the GHSA report would echo this if the registration numbers were also posted. As expected, those numbers were not included.
What started off as a promising report on valid reasons for the increase in motorcycle usage, ended up as an attack on the freedoms of all motorcycle riders in this country.
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