As some of you are aware, I bought a motorcycle. In the Cafe Society thread in which I mentioned this, someone suggested “get an organ donor card” which I took to be quite rude (I mean, as a practical consideration, I know you’re supposed to have one, but telling someone that he’s going to die? Is this not a rude remark to make?) If someone came out of the closet, would the first thing you said to him be “I hope you don’t get AIDS?” No, it wouldn’t. Anyway, I responded by saying that you wouldn’t suggest that a road bicyclist get an organ donor card, even though it’s probably just as risky to ride one on the road.
Now I’m wondering if that’s actually true or not. I can’t see how riding something that’s completely silent and underpowered in traffic is less likely to be hit by a car than something that is highly powerful and very noisy. I’m specifically talking about being hit by a car here because it’s my understanding that most fatal motorcycle accidents involve being hit by a car. So is a road bike, ridden in traffic, just as dangerous? (And I know there are bike lanes, but NOBODY here in my town ever uses them, they ride right in the road or alongside the cars.)
While we’re on the topic, what about scooters? I have seen a huge number of people around here riding motorscooters, and maybe 2% wear a helmet (and zero percent wear any kind of protective jacket.) People think that these scooters are safer than motorcycles. I contend that they are not since they are underpowered and have smaller wheels, as well as the fact that their riders usually think that there’s no risk in riding them and don’t wear helmets, plus the fact that they don’t require a driver’s license to operate - and yet I have never heard anyone bitch that motorscooters are dangerous. It seems like motorcycles get all the “unsafe” rhetoric. Is this unjust?