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When is a crash a Crash?

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  • When is a crash a Crash?

    I've been wondering a lot about the of facts in motorcycle safety; for example I believe that motorcycle crashes are stunningly under-reported because well, I'm Capt CRASH and I've never made an insurance claim involving a motorcycle. I've crashed a fair amount but am given to fixing it myself (bars, bodywork,levers, pedals). Injuries I've received have never risen to the need for professional medical aid. I also don't want to make a claim that doesn't rise above my deductible and only ups makes my premiums go up.

    To travel a little farther down the road, if it ain't broke, don't go to the doctor. I've been roadrashed (including INSIDE protective gear) and roadrash just ain't a doctor or a claim. Broken bones? Yeah, you gotta go to the Doc but it's not an STD and he isn't going to report it. Likewise, if you can ride the bike home you'll ride the bike home and in the case of single vehicle crashes I have (and helped others) pick the bike up and ride it miles and miles back home...sometimes slowly and carefully. Let's face it, unless it's puking fluids, you can probably ride it home--or Steve-o can bring the truck up and grab you.

    I've throw the bike away on the street twice that I'd count as an "unreported/no significant injury or damage" crashes. (Picture rolling around on the pavement in close proximity to other vehicles). To be clear, I'm not saying the information out there isn't valid, I'm offering that when we talk about what's happening out there that a level of incident isn't in the data set.
    35
    Had a single vehicle accident you've not reported?
    28.57%
    10
    Has a single vehicle accident that you ridden away from?
    37.14%
    13
    Had a single vehicle accident that required "non-professional" transportation?
    14.29%
    5
    Had a single vehicle accident that required non-EMS medical attention?
    20.00%
    7

    The poll is expired.

    Author of "Motorcycles, Life and..." & "The Elemental Motorcyclist"

    http://motorcycleslifeandeverything.wordpress.com

    www.howzitdonecrash.com

  • #2
    I'm with you Crash. If it's not a significant event that results in major, report it to the insurance company, damage there are probably a lot more incidents than are reported. Everything from simple drops that result in dented tanks or paint scratches to in motion crashes that cause no major structural damage to the bike are probably not reported for just the reason you state, insurance rates going up.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    Originally posted by Lezbert
    * Passhole -- Aggressive driver who stops at nothing just to get in front of you, saving him/herself a whopping 10 seconds.
    -2000 Road King Classic with lots of sentimental value
    -M.I.T.G.C. #72

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    • #3
      A crash is a crash when it involves pain. I could check all 4 of your poll questions, btw.

      Heck, I've crashed twice in the same day! Same location too. A section of dirt called "The Wall." Almost made it...twice! Gave up. Bike (1980 Honda XL500S) was unhurt as I was unhurt. I should take the Labrat there as it's walking distance from where we are currently sitting.
      I may have crashed multiple times before that, I don't 'member.

      Worst crash? Rag dolled down a 60' embankment on my minibike. My buddy thought I was dead. Just think of "The agony of defeat." That was me, about 1973 or 74. Wore a helmet, but didn't make much difference (as you can tell!)

      Then again, I've ridden dirt for 3 or 4 years at a time and didn't crash at all. Haven't ridden dirt since "about 1990" now. Based on my friends that left the dangerous street to go back to dirtbike riding, I'd stay in the street as many have broken their bodies really good. Maybe that's "really bad."
      Last edited by NORTY; 10-25-2016, 09:58 AM. Reason: I just can't shutup!
      Knowledge speaks, wisdom listens.

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      • #4
        You need two more options, or at least once ... Never Crashed ... and maybe Not Crashed But Tipped bike over
        Ride safe, ride smart, ride ATGATT because sweat dries faster than scars heal

        2011 Triumph Tiger 800XC
        2009 Kawasaki ER-6N

        * If you love your bike set it free. If it comes back to you, you've High Sided

        sigpic

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        • #5
          I answered yes to the first two and no to the second two. I have dropped or set a bike down five times that I recall. Only one would I classify as a crash and that was the only one that resulted in any significant damage to the bike. Even that one, I rode the bike home. It was 37 years ago at 3 am, no cell phone, not much choice. Had some road rash, but not bad. Just treated with bandaids.

          The other four were slow speed or no speed newbie oops drops with no significant damage to the bike.

          But I probably have less than 20,000 lifetime motorcycle miles. 8,000 over the past 15 months. Maybe 10,000ish when I was a kid and probably less than 1,000 here and there in the intervening years. So if you exclude the slow speed newbie oops drops, I am one crash in 20,000ish miles. I am guessing Capt Crash would have close to 50 times those miles, maybe more so even if he has more crashes, probably far fewer crashes per mile than me.

          I do not know that I would count off road crashes. Those seem like the go with the territory. I guess it depends on how severe. But it would seem to me that it would be difficult to find the off-road traction limits without crossing them a few times. I suppose the same is true on road, but I would be more willing to test limits off road than on road.

          I guess my thought on the question is that if I can ride my bike home and do not need medical attention, I am not that worried about it. I am more concerned with rates of crashes with serious injuries. I guess that is covered in question four - non EMS medical attention - serious injuries that do not get reported. Steve-O hauls you and your bike home and you go to the doctor the next day. Even then, if I do not need to go the emergency room right now, it is a risk I am not terribly concerned about. Steve-O hauls your bike home and Sally takes you to the emergency room. Are emergency room visits reported?

          I am mostly concerned with gaining a realistic understanding of the risk of serious injury or death. Obviously some is there and unavoidable, but how to quantify? Is it worth the risk? I think I need a risk-adjusted grin factor. Grins per unit of potential suffering. Lots of grins, therefore worth taking significant risk of suffering?

          Or grins gained per unit of risk of grins lost. Yeah, I like that. It is an avocation for the elderly. You wreck yourself and you do not lose too many future grins due to not having too many years left.
          Last edited by Sorg67; 10-25-2016, 02:06 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Clair View Post
            You need two more options, or at least once ... Never Crashed ... and maybe Not Crashed But Tipped bike over
            Agreed - the number of responses is not as meaningful without knowing how many were 0 for 4

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            • #7
              I answered yes to the first 2. I've had 2 "crashes" in my riding career, both were single vehicle cases where I picked myself and the bike up and rode away without reporting them.

              Tom
              In the end, regrets rarely come from things done, but from things not even tried.
              sigpic

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              • #8
                What is the speed/damage threshold for an automobile accident to show up in the data? A report to the police? Or is a fender bender that's reported to the insurance? Or both?
                Author of "Motorcycles, Life and..." & "The Elemental Motorcyclist"

                http://motorcycleslifeandeverything.wordpress.com

                www.howzitdonecrash.com

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                • #9
                  A crash is any time any part of the motorcycle that isn't tires or sidestand touches the ground.

                  And yes, I've crashed multiple times. Highest speed: 50 mph, lowest speed: 0mph Most painful: 5mph (highside)

                  Sprained wrists, bumped and bruised, raspberry on the knee and elbows, thankfully no broken bones (at least no x-rays proving they were broken).

                  Rode it home every time - broken shift lever, broken gear change pedal, plastics scraped and scuffed, mirror smashed, turn signals dangling.

                  No crashes involving other vehicles (while I was on the bike). The one insurance claim was after someone backed into my motorcycle when it was parked on the street - smashed left side and pushed it over onto the right side, smashing everything on the right side. F Me! Tough lesson for teenage driver to learn - parents called and wanted to argue I was partly to blame for having parked my motorcycle where I did (I was between the lines, teen admitted they had just finished texting and threw it into reverse and never saw the bike). They offered $500, I said we'd let insurance take care of it - total of $3500 in damages, bike was only worth $3000 - so it was totaled and I bought back as salvage.

                  Crashes are WAY under reported - at least in my riding career. Never had medical attention (from a pro), never reported any... just sucked it up and figured it was a stupid tax. I did something stupid and so I had to pay (cost of replacement parts, pain & suffering). I am proof of the Honda ad slogan: "Stupid Hurts"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Darwin View Post
                    A crash is any time any part of the motorcycle that isn't tires or sidestand touches the ground.
                    See, I disagree. There's a Crash and there's a Tip Over or whatever you want to call it.

                    Example 1) I'm in my garage, sitting on my ST1100 (heavy-ass bike). For whatever stupid-ass reason I lean forward and over to the right side to look at something .. which makes bike lean over ... past the point I can keep it up. Bike falls on it's side and I feel like an idiot.

                    Example 2) On a ride with Todd and Chuck. Chuck's bike goes all crappy. We pull over. I pull in behind, put bike in Neutral with side stand down as at first I didn't think the wait would be long ... then I turn bike off once it takes some time. After a while I decide to get off bike and see what Todd and Chuck are doing. Being an idiot I keep bike in Neutral. While dismounting bike the bike moves forward just enough to kick side stand up ... bike promptly lays on right side, breaking the nub off of the front brake lever. Todd and Chuck laugh hysterically.

                    In both examples, tires are off the ground as is the side stand, but neither is a "crash". If anything, both are stupid tip overs. Forget to put sidestand down and dismount bike .. bike goes down. NOT a crash. Try to check oil level solo while holding bike upright ... it falls over ... NOT a crash.
                    Ride safe, ride smart, ride ATGATT because sweat dries faster than scars heal

                    2011 Triumph Tiger 800XC
                    2009 Kawasaki ER-6N

                    * If you love your bike set it free. If it comes back to you, you've High Sided

                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Clair View Post
                      See, I disagree. There's a Crash and there's a Tip Over or whatever you want to call it.

                      Example 1) I'm in my garage, sitting on my ST1100 (heavy-ass bike). For whatever stupid-ass reason I lean forward and over to the right side to look at something .. which makes bike lean over ... past the point I can keep it up. Bike falls on it's side and I feel like an idiot.

                      Example 2) On a ride with Todd and Chuck. Chuck's bike goes all crappy. We pull over. I pull in behind, put bike in Neutral with side stand down as at first I didn't think the wait would be long ... then I turn bike off once it takes some time. After a while I decide to get off bike and see what Todd and Chuck are doing. Being an idiot I keep bike in Neutral. While dismounting bike the bike moves forward just enough to kick side stand up ... bike promptly lays on right side, breaking the nub off of the front brake lever. Todd and Chuck laugh hysterically.

                      In both examples, tires are off the ground as is the side stand, but neither is a "crash". If anything, both are stupid tip overs. Forget to put sidestand down and dismount bike .. bike goes down. NOT a crash. Try to check oil level solo while holding bike upright ... it falls over ... NOT a crash.
                      I have done something very similar to both #1 and #2.

                      #1 Had not ridden DRZ in a while. Sitting on it with kickstand up before having started bike. Could not find choke by feel. Lean over to look for it. Forgot how tall 37 inch seat height is. Oh crap.......

                      #2 Sitting on Versys in drive getting ready to go. Kickstand up. Forgot something. Get off bike to go get it. Did not put kick stand down..... oops....

                      Borderline case, I was practicing slow speed turns in the neighborhood. Feeling like I am getting pretty good. Tighter and tighter, slower and slower, stall, oh crap... set bike down at a standstill.

                      My only true crash was when I was 19. Might have been going 50 or so when I hit the ground. Was going 70 right before, but had slowed down a bit before I ate it. Lucky to pick the bike up and ride home from that one.

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                      • #12
                        For me it's one of those things that skews the data. I think rider intentionally refuse to report and that means the reports tend to be only the most damaging of incidents; those that require EMS or bike retrieval. I was on the bay side of Highway 84 in the SF Bay Area once and I remember stopping my Pop's pick up, digging out the rope in the back seat, and helping pull what appeared to be a GSXR up the slope, out of the bushes, and having the rider telling everyone helping "Hurry up! I can hear the Cops!" because he wanted to (and did) ride away without a report. I just don't have any idea how to gather that info.
                        Author of "Motorcycles, Life and..." & "The Elemental Motorcyclist"

                        http://motorcycleslifeandeverything.wordpress.com

                        www.howzitdonecrash.com

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                        • #13
                          Up here it's illegal to pull somebody out of a ditch or to fail in reporting an accident but I'm pretty sure if you or they ride out under their own power it's a grey area. Be careful and aware of the potential consequences before offering to play tow truck for somebody else.

                          If you simply fall over without injury or damage is that a crash? well kinda, but are you about to go out of your way to report it as being an accident, I highly doubt it. If you hit a deer or other animal on the highway with your car is that a crash? well kinda, but are you about to stay at the scene of the accident and call the police to report it :/ if you plan to make an insurance claim it might be a very wise move.

                          I believe the laws in most places require you to remain at the scene of an accident and report the incident any time there is damage to your vehicle or to personal property, but if there was zero damage, that's kinda like the tree that fell in the woods and nobody heard it
                          just keep swimming

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                          • #14
                            I have to disregard my off road crashes, because well, that's part of off road riding. Also because how do you report non-insured off road vehicles vs plated dual sports?

                            On pavement, I've lowsided on a public road requiring a ride in the ambulance (a crash), and tipped over in parking lots (not a crash). I've also lowsided at the track (not a crash, since it didn't involve a registered bike even though I went the hospital). I've also non-reported a lowside on the road because the damage to the bike allowed me to nurse it back home minus a broken shifter.
                            When life throws you curves, aim for the apex
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by asp125 View Post
                              I have to disregard my off road crashes, because well, that's part of off road riding...
                              I like that rule

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