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Thread: Realistic risk of death on a motorcycle.

  1. #1
    Flirting With The Redline 6000 Posts! Afflo's Avatar
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    Realistic risk of death on a motorcycle.

    I was looking at a Bureau of Traffic Statistics report earlier today. The average motorcycle fatality rate from 1993-2003 was 26.5 fatalities per
    100,000,000 miles ridden.

    That's 3,773,585 miles for every fatality.

    A heavy rider might do 40 years of riding @ 8,000 miles/year that's 320,000 miles.

    That's 8.5% of the time before you're "due" to die on a bike, so let's give him an 8.5% chance of dying on the bike during a lifetime of riding.

    Now, the "Average" rider: 40 years of riding @ 2,000 miles/year = 80,000 lifetime miles, or a 2.2% chance of dying on the bike during a lifetime of riding.

    Now, filter out wreckless, adrenaline junkie squids, helmetless/beanie
    wearing barhoppers, unlicensed, untrained mouthbreathers who just had to
    "lay it down." believing the coefficient of grip of points of metal is
    greater than radial tires.

    I'm feeling pretty good about my chances for survival. Better than the
    cigarettes.

    Obviously a rider who rides 3+ million miles doesn't have a 100% chance of death, so the system isn't perfect. I know BBO has to have at least one actuary!
    2011 Triumph America, made perfect with another Corbin Seat.
    (sold) '08 Ninja 650R with super-comfy Corbin seat
    (sold) '06 Ninja 250R, possibly best learning-bike ever.

    "For me it is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
    - Carl Sagan - "The Demon-Haunted World" - fantastic read!

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    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! A_Pmech's Avatar
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    At 30,000 to 40,000 miles a year, I must be doomed.

    I'd ride even more more if I had the time!

    I'd ride WAY more than that if I still had a 200-mile a day commute.

    It's hard to remember life before motorcycles...
    Every zero you add to the tolerance adds a zero to the price.

    Time to spare? Travel by air!

    Red '96 GS500, slightly modified.
    Black '03 SV650, heavily modified.

  3. #3
    RiderCoach 1000 Posts! lionlady's Avatar
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    The Yellowstone volcano erupts catastrophically on average, every 600,000 years. Its been 700,000 years since the last eruption. We're all doomed anyway.

    ... Okay. Are you a risk taker? How often do you have "close calls" in your car or on the bike? No need to share here, but the answers to those questions will weight your odds.

    P
    Chocolate comes from cocoa, which comes out of a tree. Which makes it a plant. Therefore, chocolate counts as salad. The end.


  4. #4
    RiderCoach 6000 Posts! WoodstockJeff's Avatar
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    Statistics are wonderful things, just not particularly useful. When properly and honestly gathered, they will give you a truthful answer. However, the answer might not be to the question you think. Adams had it right - the answer IS 42!
    Jeff

    "There is much that can be said for quickly and efficiently traveling between two points, but, since it has nothing to do with motorcycling, we will ignore that topic."

    "The future is so much easier to predict when you have a handle on how you arrived at now.... Works with traffic just as well as the rest of life. "

    "Try, assess, adjust, repeat. That's how kids learn through playing. Adults can learn that way, too, once we get over the the idea that doing something incorrectly makes us look stupid. Failure isn't an option in learning... it's a requirement." - me, a while ago.

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  5. #5
    Flirting With The Redline 6000 Posts! Afflo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lionlady View Post
    The Yellowstone volcano erupts catastrophically on average, every 600,000 years. Its been 700,000 years since the last eruption. We're all doomed anyway.

    ... Okay. Are you a risk taker? How often do you have "close calls" in your car or on the bike? No need to share here, but the answers to those questions will weight your odds.

    P
    If I had frequent close calls, I'd have a LOT more steel around me!

    I found the error in my calculation. If you were to ride far in excess of the
    "this many miles until you're due for death" number, you'd reach a mathmatic impossibility, where your risk of death was over 100%.

    So, I sat down, played with it for a while, and here is what I've got:

    0.99999973500000662499983437500414 to 1

    Chances that, on any given mile travelled, it won't be your last. Take that .999 yada yada figure, and put it to the power of 320,000 (chances of that subsequent result on every mile for a 320,000 mile riding career, and you get 0.91869599685497397801607464056386 to one. Which is, um, a 8.1304003145026021983925359436141% chance of dying.

    Okay, I guess it didn't make much difference!

    I'd imagine that not being a idiot in the first place would probably bolster your chances of being just fine. Think about all the stupid that is in that figure. I have two daughters, aged 20 months apart. Their teenage years will probably do more to hasten my death than anything I hop onto and ride short of an electric chair.
    2011 Triumph America, made perfect with another Corbin Seat.
    (sold) '08 Ninja 650R with super-comfy Corbin seat
    (sold) '06 Ninja 250R, possibly best learning-bike ever.

    "For me it is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
    - Carl Sagan - "The Demon-Haunted World" - fantastic read!

  6. #6
    Flirting With The Redline 10,000 Posts! mudarra's Avatar
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    Afflo, stop thinking too much.

    Just ride. If you don't enjoy it then quit!

    Yes, you can get killed on a bike. But guess what? You have a higher chance of getting killed in a car.
    An equally high chance of dying from cancer.

    Of the lifetime riders in your stats, did they all die on a bike. My Uncle rode 30+ years then died.
    From diabetes. Never crashed. Many close calls.

    What did I learn from him? Live life.

    Look at the CDC website. Every year they publish a list of common activities, and the chances Americans have of dying from them. Most people die from boring shit like cancer, car wrecks, and falling down.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Larry

    Current Bike(s) - 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650 'Guacamole', 04 Yamaha XT225
    Previous Bikes - 06 Yamaha FJR1300, 08 Kawasaki Versys, 05 Honda 919, 04 Kawasaki ZZR600, 04 Yamaha V-Star 650

  7. #7
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! A_Pmech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudarra View Post
    Most people die from boring shit like cancer, car wrecks, and falling down.
    Don't forget:

    Sticking forks in toasters
    Drowning in buckets
    Crossing the street
    Operating hair dryers in the bathtub
    Doing their job
    Shit Attacks aka "Food Poisoning"

    Every zero you add to the tolerance adds a zero to the price.

    Time to spare? Travel by air!

    Red '96 GS500, slightly modified.
    Black '03 SV650, heavily modified.

  8. #8
    Flirting With The Redline 6000 Posts! Afflo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudarra View Post
    Afflo, stop thinking too much.

    Just ride. If you don't enjoy it then quit!

    Yes, you can get killed on a bike. But guess what? You have a higher chance of getting killed in a car.
    An equally high chance of dying from cancer.

    Of the lifetime riders in your stats, did they all die on a bike. My Uncle rode 30+ years then died.
    From diabetes. Never crashed. Many close calls.

    What did I learn from him? Live life.

    Look at the CDC website. Every year they publish a list of common activities, and the chances Americans have of dying from them. Most people die from boring shit like cancer, car wrecks, and falling down.
    Why would I ride if I didn't enjoy it?

    How do you figure a higher chance in a car? Per miles travelled, it's around 1-2 fatalities per 100 million miles traveled.

    Cancer seems much more likely... what is it, 1/3 of people die from cancer?
    2011 Triumph America, made perfect with another Corbin Seat.
    (sold) '08 Ninja 650R with super-comfy Corbin seat
    (sold) '06 Ninja 250R, possibly best learning-bike ever.

    "For me it is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
    - Carl Sagan - "The Demon-Haunted World" - fantastic read!

  9. #9
    Flirting With The Redline 1000 Posts!
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    The statistics are worthless, they have no clue how many miles are ridden each year by people on bikes. They just picked a number out of a hat. The odds are the same tomorrow as they were today. And the neat thing is, if you do die, you won't have to worry about the statistics anymore, you're dead. As Larry said, enjoy life, don't sweat the small stuff.

    Dan

    PS I'd be way overdue for dieing if stats on most anything had any validity, but stats interpret the past, they can't predict my future.

  10. #10
    Life is too short to run scared. I've had a rash of people I know die suddenly from situations out of their control. Not a single one involved a motor vehicle. Just enjoy the ride.
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