You are probably going to see a garbled version of this on television sometime in the next month.
A professor at the University of Stavanger in Norway has done of study of dangerous drivers and concluded that motorcyclists are unfairly stigmatized by society as being dangerous. Calm down. He meant that in a good way.
Ove Nja-no that is not a typo. Yes that is really his name. Pronounce it any way you want-said in a press release on ScienceDaily.com that, “Some so-called experts maintain…that it is 10-15 times more dangerous to drive a motorcycle than to drive a car, or that to drive a motorcycle is as dangerous as to drive with 0.1 percent blood-alcohol concentration. These experts either don’t know what risk is, or they under-communicate their own basis for these statements…. This way of discussing high risk groups is stigmatizing large groups of people. It’s problematic, and I don’t believe it achieves anything. That’s why I think it’s important to find out more about these high risk groups.”
Not Exactly Hemingway Is He
Could you understand any of that? Well now imagine what your local Eyewitless Newz moron is going to make of it, standing out in front of the local Harley dealership, mugging like a minstrel on a Mississippi showboat.
The actual news in this story is that Nja studied reports from all fatal accidents on Norwegian Roads in 2005, 2006 and 2007 in order to find out which drivers pose a risk to other drivers and which do not. He identified six categories of motorcyclists who are at fault in most accidents.
* The Rusty. Motorcyclists who do not ride very often and who do not like to ride their motorcycles are more likely to cause an accident than bikers who live to ride.
* The Indifferent. Nja calls bikers who are drunk, stoned, loaded, crazy or running from the law “indifferent.” He concludes that there is no law that can stop us, er…them.
* The Experienced Thrill Seekers. Nja says bikers who push the boundaries of “fun” riding by popping wheelies, speeding or just going ahead and passing that slow truck even though you can see the traffic closing on you from the opposite direction are also at risk. Nja also notes that bikers are more likely to pop wheelies on a borrowed motorcycle than on their own bike.
* The Inexperienced. Nja says these people are usually either riders who just got their license or they are foreigners riding a motorcycle for the first time in someplace new, like, oh, say the San Diego Freeway in Los Angeles. Nja says these riders “are unable to cope with relatively manageable traffic” or “they freeze or act irrationally.”
* The Deliberate Choosers. A “deliberate chooser” is what a Norwegian college professor calls someone who is either suicidal or really, really angry. “In a few episodes, it appears,” Nja says, that the rider “has deliberately chosen to cause the accident.”
So, to reiterate:
* if you ride all the time and like it,
* you know where you are,
* you are not trying to pop a wheelie on a borrowed bike or running from the police,
* you are sort of sober
* and you are not actually trying to crash your bike into somebody who has pissed you off, you should be okay.
ScienceDaily did not mention how much Nja was paid to figure this all out.