Because I myself am a motorcyclist, this node title intrigues me. I personally think that this would be really cool. The practical implications of such a law change are a bit daunting, though. Here are my thoughts:

The fact that the speed limit would be higher would cause many many more people to start driving motorcycles. It’s a guy thing. “Ugg, I go fast now, ugg!” This, in turn, would also increase the number of bad motorcycle drivers. I suppose that natural selection would take care of them, though.

Also, do you really think that the uniformed public would stand to let damn hooligans (though I am a safe driver, I have been accused of this) on two wheels have the right drive faster. Common sense says that four wheels are safer than two, therefore cars should be allowed to have a higher speed limit, not bikes.

This whole spiel is academic anyway, but your idea requires intelligence on the part of the motorcyclist and the public at large, and that’s just something that you can’t count on.

Oh well, here to wishful thinking!!!

All of the above nodes seem to support the premise of the title. I disagree with the title of this node. I think that motorcycles should not have a higher speed limit. Speeding accounted for 41% of all fatal motorcycle crashes as opposed to 30% for all vehicles. Speed correlates with higher death rates.

Both Starrynight and tell us that a motorcycle rider is less likely to get in an accident than a car driver. This is false. For every 100 milion miles traveled, 1.9 car drivers died, but 36.5 motorcycle riders died. That's 19.2 times more likely. If you break it down by vehicle numbers, rather than by distance, there were 57 motorcycle deaths per 100,000 registered vehicles in 1999, compared to 17 for cars. That's 3.4 times as many.

By the way, the most common type of motorcycle death was caused by the motorcycle leaving the road (41%), followed by the motorcycle or other vehicle running a red light (18%). Motorcycle deaths are almost evenly divided between rural and urban settings (switching in recent years to rural being the more common). Also, 91% of motorcycle deaths were male.

Where does he get all these crazy numbers?! They come from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, who keeps tabs on all fatal accidents in the United States down to the minute detail.

My significant other used to work in an emergency room, where they had a name for motorcycle riders: organ donors.

She always claimed that a disproportionate number of organ donors were post-accident motorcyclists. Think about it: they tend to be young men in fairly good physical condition with head trauma - just about the perfect donor.

Interestingly enough, there was a brief article related to this topic at Wired News today...

Motorcycle fatalities are on the rise, prompting federal officials to push for better training programs, tougher enforcement of mandatory helmet laws and making car and truck drivers more aware of motorcyclists. The statistics are sobering: 2,472 bikers were killed in 1999, the largest number of fatalities since 1991. For every 100 million miles traveled, an average of 36.5 motorcyclists were killed, compared to a mere 1.9 drivers on four wheels. The two biggest causes of motorcycle-related deaths remain unchanged: speeding and drinking.

Well, this is going to be a stupid writeup, but what the heck....

Apparently, none of you have ever witnessed or seen the aftermath of a car-motorcycle collision. Believe me - you are fooling yourself if you think a 500 lb (or more!) motorcycle presents no threat to an auto, even an SUV. Rest assured that a 70 MPH bike is a very dangerous projectile, capable of splitting a car nearly in two, particularly in a broadside collision.

Besides - why bother raising the speed limit for motorcycles? From what I can see, most motorcyclists who wish to speed already do so with wild abandon.

Only slightly higher, though.

Generally speaking, aside from stupidity, bravado, and booze, the most dangerous thing to motorcycles is other vehicles. I have seen it repeated in various places that it is better for a motorcycle to only have threats come from a single direction, and from a direction they can easily see - namely, in front of them. If a motorcycle is going the speed limit, they will be passed regularly by people who want to go faster than the speed limit.

If, however, they have a slightly higher speed limit, this will significantly cut down on the number of people passing them, and nearly all threats (other cars) will be coming from one direction.

Motorcycles being allowed to use HOV lanes already helps significantly; people can pass motorcycles, but by-and-large people don't tend to merge in and out of the HOV lane as often, so a motorcycle isn't as likely to get side-swiped by a car merging into their lane.

I personally am not sure I agree with the idea, but it would fit what I have been told numerous times: It's best for a motorcycle to go slightly faster than the flow of traffic.

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