Emergency Service

Two Wheel Death Abounds

At least five motorcyclists have perished on Idaho roads in the past week or so, prompting the GUARDIAN to issue a special alert.

A crash in Canyon County last week, two in Boise within the past two days (State St. near Sycamore, and Cole and Brentwood) a head-on on Warm Springs a few days ago and at least one more fatal bike crash in N. Idaho are cause for alarm.

You don’t need to be a trooper in a big hat to tell automobile drivers to “look twice” for motorcycles and also warn two-wheel drivers to be as visible as possible with daytime headlights, wear helmets, and obey traffic laws.

Combine those tragic, unnecessary deaths with the guy injured riding a skateboard at 11 p.m. down the South Roosevelt hill and crashing into a car and you have significant contributions to what coppers term the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer.”

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Until the ISP, ITD, and other agencies quit sanctioning and escorting huge motorcycle rides (like the one to Mountain Home), they have no business talking to anyone about motorcycle safety. All it will take is for one rider to go down to cause a lot of injury. And officers themselves often ride side by side in a lane… in violation of the motorcycle manual.

  2. Motorcycles begone
    Jun 22, 2017, 3:49 pm

    I concur with high visibility and driving predictably etc. It seems to be the cool thing to be driving a darked out bike with dark clothing. The human brain has many compromises which also give it advantages and disadvantages. One of our visual compromises results in a deficiency allowing us to be looking right at something and not see it. A motorcycle v car wreck is a great example of our eyeball detecting but our brain not seeing. Because of this deficiency it is imperative to make a full stop and look each way with both eyeballs for at least one second. I will attach an optical illusion link to demonstrate how objects can go stealth. http://dbmoran.users.sonic.net/dougmoran-com/collections/optical-illusion-pink-dot-circle.html

    Additional common risks are to wear blinder glasses blocking all but straight ahead vision. How stupid are you to intentionally block the field of your vision which detects movement. Too many pills and the light hurts your eyes? Tell lots of fibs and don’t want your eyes to give you up? What’s with all that crap hanging from the rearview mirror? Also distractions in the car such as conversations or loud music are absorbing bandwidth in your brain and less is available to compute for driving. DUI and using a phone in any capacity is basically the same thing. There is a new law in one State called DUIE (electronics) with similar penalties.

    Not to be forgotten. Nobody drives more dangerously on average than the motorcycle riders. The fix should be no open vehicle with unprotected unrestrained human should be allowed on the roads. Exoskeletons only. These contraptions also damage the lives of the car drivers they impact. So it’s not just about your freedoms and the wind in your hair and all that bullcrap when the wreck results in injuries, lawsuits, public payment of ICU bills, and criminal prosecutions that would not have happened had it been even the smallest of cars instead of a motorbike.

    Helmets would only have been helpful in only 40% of fatal motorcycle deaths. Brain injuries happen with helmets on too because can’t keep brain from sloshing around the skull. Thoracic and spinal injuries are often the killers as well. In the event of an accident a motorcycle rider is 37 times more likely to die as compared to automobile. Numbers even higher for motorcycle passenger. Does your teen’s boyfriend have a motorcycle? Zoom Zoom. Demographically the worst drivers on the road are young. The next worse are old. The male v female difference has narrowed a lot. (says NTHSA)

  3. Heather Rodman
    Jun 22, 2017, 3:52 pm

    Add the guy who died in a head-on motorcycle crash on S. Cole today to the numbers….

  4. One of the big day trips for many motorcycles is the drive to Harley’s in Idaho City. After getting tanked up at Harley’s they take off to Boise.

    Every year several wrecks and deaths on Highway 21 involving motorcycles. How do you stop it? Not sure but I do know that drinking and driving do not mix.

  5. Motorcycles begone: “The fix should be no open vehicle with unprotected unrestrained human should be allowed on the roads.”

    Nah – the fix should be vigorous enforcement of inattentive/distracted driving laws. Far too often, the penalty for an “I didn’t see him!” fatal crash (NOT “accident”!) is a slap on the wrist. If the consequences were more severe, maybe people would quit driving with a handheld gizmo in one hand, occasionally looking up at the road. (That’s my biggest fear nowadays, whether I’m riding a bicycle, a motorcycle, or driving the wife’s car.)

    Other points made by the Guardian, and commenters, are very valid!

    I’ve never understood why black is the color-of-choice for so many motorcycle riders. I do everything I can to be visible on my 2-wheelers. I have a dayglo green jacket. I ride with my high beam on (motorcycles). And… I try to ALWAYS ride defensively (awareness of any other moving object within 200 feet or so, and prepared to react to any crazy move that object might make).

    Yup – helmet and clothes designed for sliding on pavement will rarely spare a rider from injuries or death. The only way to avoid getting hurt or worse, is to avoid the mishap altogether.

    I always ride with a helmet on. But I’m glad it’s a choice and not mandated. My advice: “If you use your brain, wear a helmet! If you don’t use your brain… well, it’s probably not so important.”

    To those roadway users who take their driving seriously, obey the laws, and pay attention… A SINCERE THANKS!! To the others… please don’t crash into us. If that means staying off the road, that would be a good choice.

  6. Porcupine: “One of the big day trips for many motorcycles is the drive to Harley’s in Idaho City. After getting tanked up at Harley’s they take off to Boise.”

    I had a friend who lost his life on 21, a few miles south of Idaho City. Tanked up, and riding home on a beautiful summer night. From all indications, it was a single-vehicle crash.

    A ride to Idaho City would be the “outer limits” for probably 75% of “bikers” (quote-unquote) who ride Harleys. Most of ’em only ride to a bar or the Harley shop (after putting on their leather jacket and do-rag “biker costume”), and never leave the city limits.

  7. I hate to say this but most of the motorcycle drivers I have seen this summer are their own worst enemies. Weaving between cars and lanes and speeding way over the speed limits to get to wherever they are going. I know NOT all motorcyclist drive this way but the ones I have seen this year do.

    EDITOR NOTE–Organ donors!

  8. Boise POLICE are the worst offenders of the “be seen” smart advice.

    Motorcycle BPD and bicycle BPD both wear full black on black cycles.

    Guardian writes, “warn two-wheel drivers to be as visible as possible”

    Erico49 writes motorcycle cops ride next to each other contrary to safety and the riders manual.

    M be Gone points out is it cool to be dark clothing (and dark cycle).

    This forum is the perfect place for the Guardian to highlight BOISE POLICE’s failure to lead by example on this issue.

    Their ridiculous motto includes “Lead our Community to a Safer Tomorrow”

    That’s some real bull****- on more than one level.

    ISP does the same, as does Nampa and other departments.
    EDITOR NOTE–Talked to Chief Bones and he agrees with hi-viz green jackets and more prominent safety-oriented clothing. They are working on it.

  9. Clancy Anderson
    Jun 27, 2017, 2:39 pm

    I can not comment on these specific crashes that resulted in death, but I can on the “cure”. Hi-Vis clothing and helmets may help in some instances, but overall will not prevent injuries or fatalities. Reminder campaigns such as this only reinforce that vulnerable road users should do everything possible to prevent a possible crash. Why not place the responsibility of prevention on those causing the most harm? Personal protection equipment is the least effective and only helps when other road users are doing their part to keep others safe. The Hazard Control Hierarchy states the most effective control is hazard elimination, then use engineering and education prior to hi-vis and helmets. Visual here- https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6iAjD_VAAAA1D4.jpg

    Best hazard to eliminate would be distracted driving. Insurance companies and states should mandate that all smart phones have certain functions disabled at vehicle speed. Users can install apps that do this, but theses apps should come preinstalled.

  10. Your points are good Clancy.
    Once again, BPD and other police departments are the most visible OFFENDERS…. police talking on their personal cell phones while driving is common!

    However, Clancy, the #1 quote at the scene of a collision is, “I didn’t see em”. #1.

    I am convinced a collision is ALWAYS the culmination of 2 or more mistakes. One traffic mistake can usually be overcome.
    What causes harm?
    It is usually some combination of BOTH parties.

    Clancy, If your premise (cure) were entirely true, history (pre-cellphones) would be void of (motor)cycle collisions.

    For the Editor Note— we had this conversation about a year ago?
    Chief said it then too…”working on it”.
    —but MRAP can show up in about 30 days.

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