Originally Posted by DAKEZ
Riding while impaired, excessive speed, tired, angry and not knowing how to control the bike accounts for fully 90% of "accidents" while riding.
Not so, failure to yield (on the part of an auto motorist, usually turning left in front of an oncoming moto) is right up there with excessive speed or riding beyond one's ability. These acciedents usually occur on high speed surface street's close to one's home.
Most serious accidents fall into one of these two categories and are very close to an even split.
Contributing factors are drunkenness and darkness. These are not really causes. Not knowing how to ride is a subjective and infinite scale that cannot easily be quantified, but at least one study shows that those who have had formal training are much less likely to have a serious accident.
Originally Posted by Bluebone
was the comparison to 'war' just to be overly dramatic?... how does it compare to say, swimming or hang gliding or perhaps or the workplace. the whole statement is pointless. it's up to the individual to determine what his/her level of accepted risk is.
Yes, I'm sure it is to be overly dramatic. Most soldiers in Afghanistan see very little, if any actual combat. We have had 10's of thousands of soldiers in Afghanistan for more than 10 years, with less than 3500 killed.
OTH, motorcycling is much more dangerous than most adventure sports, likely including the two you've mentioned. Oft repeated stats say you are 35 times more likely to die in a motorcycle accident than in a a car accident (per mile ridden). Most "adventure sports" are much safer than driving a car, a commonly made comparison.
Dakez is right though, in that there is much that can be done to lower the risk serious injury or death when motorcycling.
#1. Always wear a helmet, gloves and sturdy footwear. Statistically, other gear does not seem to do much is terms of reducing serious injury or death. Abrasion injuries while often painful and scarring are seldom serious.
#2. Never drink and ride and minimize your riding at night.
#3. Learn good motorcycling control and accident avoidance skills and practice them frequently.
#4. Ride conservatively, save excessive speed for the track.
#5. Minimize riding on multi-lane high speed surface streets, especially during high traffic times. Motorbike commuters significantly increase their exposure to risk.
Following these suggestions will significantly lower the hazard level of the sport.