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Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

  1. #1
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    There has been a lot on the news lately about motorcycle deaths and changes in helmet laws: currently one out of seven traffic fatalities is a motorcyclist. The AMA and ABATE have been successful in reversing helmets laws in a number of states. There are currently 19 states requiring helmet use, 28 requiring some helmet use for younger riders, passengers etc, and three states with no helmet laws.

    Many of those opposed to mandatory helmet use have focused on the personal freedom argument, suggesting that as taxpayers the social cost of any accident is essentially paid in advance.

    The CDC has recently published a study that outlines the social costs of these accidents.

    Not all motorcycle fatalities are unhelmeted and it turns out a portion of fatalities even in mandatory states aren't wearing helmets. The study does not seem to examine how many of those who were helmeted might have been wearing novelty helmets. According to the study:

    The findings indicated that, on average, 12% of fatally injured motorcyclists were not wearing helmets in states with universal helmet laws, compared with 64% in partial helmet law states (laws that only required specific groups, usually young riders, to wear helmets) and 79% in states without a helmet law.

    ...During 2008–2010, a total of 14,283 motorcyclists were killed in crashes, among whom 6,057 (42%) were not wearing a helmet. In the 20 states with a universal helmet law, 739 (12%) fatally injured motorcyclists were not wearing a helmet, compared with 4,814 motorcyclists (64%) in the 27 states with partial helmet laws and 504 (79%) motorcyclists in the three states without a helmet law
    The report explains the methodology for determining the social costs of these accidents to arrive at a "cost savings" for injuries prevented:

    Costs saved included injury-related costs (e.g., medical and emergency services costs, and household and work productivity losses) and excluded costs (e.g., property damage and travel delay). For this report, costs saved were standardized by state by dividing the total costs saved in each state by the number of registered motorcycles in that state in 2010** to determine costs saved per registered motorcycle.
    So, what does it cost to kill or injure yourself on a motorcycle? Quite a bit according to this study. From the quoted NHTSA data:

    Costs saved were estimated to be:
    $1,212,800 per fatality,
    $171,753 per serious injury,
    $7,523 per minor injury

    (in year 2010 dollars)
    Note that these are estimates of cost savings from injuries prevented, not actual costs associated with crashes. One could surmise that someone who had brain or other serious injuries would incur costs far, far higher than if they were killed outright.

    Links:
    Hell For Leather article
    NPR video report: why rise in accidents hasn't meant tougher helmet laws
    Fairwarning.org article on AMA lobbying efforts
    CDC report.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 06-24-12 at 05:57 AM.
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  2. #2
    Lifer
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    We need a study to tell us that you are more likely to be killed without a helmet and that if you are not killed the injuries are likely to be more severe and expensive?

    What's next, a study determining that spending 30 years inhaling smoke through your lungs is bad for you?

    Or perhaps that working in a coal mine or asbestos factory is not a great career choice?


    Seriously, what frustrates me about these studies is that they not only state the obvious, but that they are unlikely to influence enough people to put a helmet on to even recoup the cost of the study.


    IMHO, the answer is not helmet laws, but prohibitively expensive insurance premiums for non-helmeted riders and a denial of both motorcycle insurance and health coverage to riders injured without helmets (not denial of care, just the life crushing burden of bearing the costs personally)

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  3. #3
    Satans Donkey Uncle Snake's Avatar
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    If you don't think you need to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle, you probably don't.......

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  4. #4
    Posting Freak timmyho414's Avatar
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    How about we look into what causes the crashes and work on that.

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  5. #5
    Lifer obsolete's Avatar
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveM View Post
    IMHO, the answer is not helmet laws, but prohibitively expensive insurance premiums for non-helmeted riders and a denial of both motorcycle insurance and health coverage to riders injured without helmets (not denial of care, just the life crushing burden of bearing the costs personally)
    So how does that cost savings work when people ride sans helmet anyway and just file bankruptcy due to medical bills and don't pay them back? You know, kinda like now. Currently the majority of people that file for bankruptcy are doing so because of med bills and a vast majority of those people have insurance. It's tough to see your solution as such.

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  6. #6
    Lifer
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    Quote Originally Posted by obsolete View Post
    So how does that cost savings work when people ride sans helmet anyway and just file bankruptcy due to medical bills and don't pay them back? You know, kinda like now. Currently the majority of people that file for bankruptcy are doing so because of med bills and a vast majority of those people have insurance. It's tough to see your solution as such.

    OK then let's just shoot 'em on the side of the road like a wounded deer.

    They would file bankruptcy after they lost everything, it isn't a financial solution, just a stronger deterrent.

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  7. #7
    Lifer
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    I think we should ban motorcycles. They're dangerous. The FRQ established over a 53 year study that 97.3% of these statistics do not have a fuck given about them.

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    It's all water under the bridge, and we do enter the next round-robin. Am I wrong?

  8. #8
    Lifer obsolete's Avatar
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    Lost everything? I'm pretty sure you know that's not how it works.

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  9. #9
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    Quote Originally Posted by timmyho414 View Post
    How about we look into what causes the crashes and work on that.
    The abstinence approach!

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  10. #10
    Super Moderator OreoGaborio's Avatar
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    Quote Originally Posted by timmyho414 View Post
    How about we look into what causes the crashes and work on that.
    We have. #1 cause of single vehicle motorcycle accidents that led to a fatality: Failure to negotiate a curve.

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    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    Quote Originally Posted by OreoGaborio View Post
    We have. #1 cause of single vehicle motorcycle accidents that led to a fatality: Failure to negotiate a curve.
    But what percentage of overall motorcycle fatalities are single vehicle accidents?

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    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    studies are severely flawed

    the largest % of motorcycle accidents go completely unreported. just by my own observation, only 10%-20% at most are reported.

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    RandyO
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  13. #13
    Super Moderator OreoGaborio's Avatar
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    Quote Originally Posted by SRTie4k View Post
    But what percentage of overall motorcycle fatalities are single vehicle accidents?
    In MA, roughly half if I recall correctly.

    The other half (more than one vehicle involved), the motorcyclist was at fault about half the time.

    Don't take that as fact, but I think that's roughly what the numbers in MA showed for 2010. I'll see if I can dig up the paperwork on it. It's around here somewhere.

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    Last edited by OreoGaborio; 06-24-12 at 02:42 PM.
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  14. #14
    Super Moderator OreoGaborio's Avatar
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    Yup. Some stats in MA, for 2010:

    51% of accidents that involved a motorcycle fatality involved more than one vehicle. 49% were single vehicle (motorcycle only. Rider at fault).
    Of ALL accidents that involved a motorcycle fatality (multi and single vehicle), the rider was found to be at fault 69% of the time.
    Of all motorcycle accidents involving a motorcycle fatality that occurred in a curve, 76% were single vehicle (motorcycle only. Rider at fault).


    I really hope I'm reading this correctly.... it wasn't presented all that clearly. Gotta interpret what's in my had a little.



    Side note for the MSF critics out there: at least 70% of riders killed in MA during 2010 had NO formal motorcycle training.

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    Last edited by OreoGaborio; 06-24-12 at 03:04 PM.
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  15. #15
    The NEW hot Setup Manny's Avatar
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    Bottom line is education can influence people and the only way to get people educated is a formal step program that required 125, 250, 500 classes with education at the intervals.

    Does it help in places they have it? How do our stats compare?

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  16. #16
    Equal opportnity offender Lxpony's Avatar
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    Quote Originally Posted by OreoGaborio View Post
    We have. #1 cause of single vehicle motorcycle accidents that led to a fatality: Failure to negotiate a curve.
    #1 benefit to doing track days IMHO

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  17. #17
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    Quote Originally Posted by Lxpony View Post
    #1 benefit to doing track days IMHO
    Track days are great but very intimidating for many riders.

    IMHO the Lee Parks Total Control I and II courses are what the MSF BRC and ARC should be, as well as great preparation for your first track day.

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  18. #18
    Lifer oVTo's Avatar
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    ARC 1 & 2 might be good replacements for the ERC, but definitely not the BRC. The target audience of the BRC is total newbies and few of them could handle ARC 1.

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  19. #19
    Riding slow bikes slower. Wanderer's Avatar
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    Drop in the UK tiered system!
    Then again, you'd have hell from the 'dont tell me what I can or cant ride!' folks...

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  20. #20
    Lifer
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    My opinion is that the root cause of all this is that it is too easy to get away without being accountable for your own actions. We brag about being the 'land of the free', but exercising some of those freedoms comes with (and should come with) a price.

    Bankruptcy is too easy. Wiggling out of obligations is too easy. There need to be consequences.

    We are not too free. Further restricting freedoms is not the answer. Not in my opinion anyway.

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  21. #21
    Lifer PhilB's Avatar
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    This is NOT a problem with letting people make their own choices. Doing so is the only right way to go.
    It is a problem with a decision as a society to pay for the consequences of people's bad choices.
    People should be allowed to ride without helmets if they wish. But they should not have reason to believe that someone else will have to pick up the bill if they need their head reconstructed.

    PhilB

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  22. #22
    Eatibus almost anythingus Marc R's Avatar
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    So, what does it cost to kill or injure yourself on a motorcycle? Quite a bit according to this study. From the quoted NHTSA data:

    Costs saved were estimated to be:
    $1,212,800 per fatality,
    $171,753 per serious injury,
    $7,523 per minor injury
    (in year 2010 dollars)

    Note that these are estimates of cost savings from injuries prevented, not actual costs associated with crashes. One could surmise that someone who had brain or other serious injuries would incur costs far, far higher than if they were killed outright.
    Killed on the scene, I would speculate $10-30k.
    $1,212,800 per fatality? Does the study itemize this cost (my BS detector went off ).

    I agree with the comments about BRC, ARC1-2 for skills building (worked for me and ensures "no rider is left behind"). However, none of these will build the skills to confidently emergency brake at 60+ mph.

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  23. #23
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Track days are great but very intimidating for many riders.
    also not covered by a lot of insurance policies

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  24. #24
    Lifer Pittenger5's Avatar
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    In Texas you need proof of having a certain amount of insurance before youre allowed to ride without a helmet. You get a special sticker for your plate and everything. Havent heard of a single person pulled over for not having that sticker though, and I talk to a lot of people without helmets.

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  25. #25
    Senior Member pontifex's Avatar
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    Re: Economic cost of motorcycle injuries

    I'd like to see the fatalities broken down by the type of helmet: half helmet, three quarter, full with dot, full with M2005, full with M2010.

    I doubt they track this info but I don't see comparing a half helmet where the guy just slapped a ebay dot sticker on it versus a Snell 2010.

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