Are Lockdowns Causing an Increase in Motorcycle Fatalities?

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Are Lockdowns Causing an Increase in Motorcycle Fatalities?
Published by Polly St. George in news · 5 May 2021
Tags: motorcycle
As I was standing in line at a convenience store yesterday my eyes wandered to the news rack.  I noticed a headline on the front page of my local paper, reporting that there had been a sharp rise in motorcycle related deaths over the past year and a half.    

If you're paying attention, you've noted that that time period coincides almost exactly with the start of the 'pandemic panic' and subsequent freedom-squashing, job-killing, relationship-destroying, stress-inducing, crazy-making tyranny of the so-called Public Health measures.  Coincidence?

The paper reports that the number of fatalities from motorcycle accidents in my region almost doubled from 27 in 2019 to 42 in 2020.  So far in 2021 there have been 4 deaths of this nature, but we are mere weeks out of winter and the weather - rainy with very high winds - has not exactly been ideal for a spin on a Harley or any other bike.  I hope that the high number of fatal motorcycle crashes in 2020 was an anomaly and that the 2021 count won't climb along with the hours of sunshine, but I have concerns.

These details from the article struck me as worth thinking about:

The OPP said 37 of the 42 fatalities in 2020 involved no other vehicles, and 20 of them involved riders between the ages of 55 and 74.
Excessive speeds and failing to yield led to many of the deaths, police said.

The article doesn't specify the gender breakdown of the fatalities, but I see far more men on motorbikes than I do women so I'm going to guess that most if not all of these fatalities were males.  Were the drivers impaired?  The article doesn't say so.  Was weather involved?  It doesn't indicate that, either.  It says that high rates of speed and 'failure to yield' caused a lot of the accidents.  High rates of speed I can believe since it's fairly easy to assess how fast a vehicle was traveling before a crash.  But failure to yield?  If the reporter got the numbers right 37 out of 42 accidents involved only the motorcycle rider and no other vehicle.  So I have to ask ... failure to yield to what? And who would have been there to report this 'failure' to police?

I am not alleging any sort of cover-up here.  I don't think police are lying about what they're seeing.   I do, however, wonder if these accidents are the final result of some men's reactions to the crushing pressure of lockdowns and masking and anti-social distancing.  As we know from the silent epidemic of fentanyl overdoses among middle aged males in the US, men in particular suffer psychologically when there are economic downturns and unemployment.  We're most certainly dealing with those issues right now - and no end is in sight.  How are men coping with this?

Has joy riding given way to rage riding?

I've never been on a motorbike though when I imagine it I think of daring, freeing, thrilling adventure.  It must be exhilarating to move through the world at speed, just the rider, the open air and the rush of being in command.  I wonder if that experience can turn into a death match under the right circumstances?  Angry and frustrated by the circumstances but unable to think of a way to fight it nor a path to escape it, might a person's back country ride turn into a grudge match against the universe? A game of Truth or Dare where he screams the truth into the wind and dares God to make his fight or flight decision for him?

When it comes to the fatalities reported in the article, we will never know the answer and, I think, that's how it should be.  Some mysteries aren't meant to be solved.  

I do hope, however, that each of us can look around at the people we love and take note of their unspoken needs. A little bit of soothing goes a long way.  A sparkle of hope can change a person's direction.  A word of praise.  A distraction.  A laugh.  A nod to the rider who heads out on the foggy day - things will clear up eventually. For now, there's no shame in taking it slow.

Jim Ward aka HaoleBoy
06 May 2021
Daytona Bike Week 2021 drew about 300,000 bikers. Number of motorcycle fatalities during Bike Week ??? I could only find one news item about 3 bikers killed in proximity to the event. General mindset of the bikers - "...Bikers are Free people. This is America. F-k Joe Biden. F-k Covid. F-k masks and lockdowns..."
Sturgis Bike Rally 2021 is expected to draw over 400,000 bikers this year. The 2020 week long event drew a similar number of bikers. No masks, no social distancing were the norm. Public health officials around the country were freaking out over Sturgis and Daytona becoming "super spreader" events (which didn't happen) but knew there was little they could do to stop them.
My best friend was killed on his moto 8 years ago. His was a solo accident, high rate of speed on frost covered pavement curve leading to lose of control and his death. He was on his way to his weekly men's bible study group.
I have another close friend where I live in Idaho who is an avid motorcyclist that spends all his off hours on local solo cruises in the summer. He just told me yesterday his wife, who has absolutely freaked out over covid this past year, won't allow him to go out on his rides this year. Her reasoning? Unknown.
Another friend, just received $1400 covid funeral compensation from the feds for her uncle who passed away a few months ago. Cause of death was listed as 'Covid Pneumonia' even though he had multiple other contributing negative health issues.
Reyna Moreno
06 May 2021
Polly -
This is a odd report. Here in my VERY BLUE state of New Mexico, we have experienced an increase in "dare-devil" stunt riders who think keenly of popping wheelies at high rates of speed ( in heavy traffic), as well as weaving in between vehicles.
Most ARE males ages 17-28-ish. Perhaps you are onto something with regard to the scamdemic wreaking havoc in our personal lives to the point of causing our younger men to feel hopeless about the future and the motor bike looks like a pleasurable form of suicide to these individuals.
The pain of loosing a girlfriend can be DEVASTATING to a good hearted and youthful male.

By the way...a lady with the handle of Ambrosse1 commented on your blog about the ONTARIO MASK/BAG/LOCKDOWN rally" and was requesting a way for you to put her in touch with me.
I don't know if you can give her my email address or not. If this is possible, PLEASE do give her my info. It would be a TRUE BLESSING to communicate with another Christian soul in this very dark and lonely place...also, still looking for some NM "swag" to send via Canadian post.
Hang in there hoser !!😁

06 May 2021
I pray that these are just tragic accidents, but something in the pit of my stomach tells me otherwise. How many of these men have lost their livelihoods because of the lockdowns? I wonder if insurance was a factor. I support the sentiment in the last paragraph 100%.
06 May 2021
..and let me guess- the statistical data (cooked books) accounts for all of these fatalities having tested positive for covid??
06 May 2021
Maybe it's the song?
06 May 2021
It’s true. Mindset is critical on a motorcycle. Rage riding would be a recipe for a bad outcome. Risk is always a partner on the ride.
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