U.S. Sec of Transportation: Gas Prices Kill

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
u s sec of transportation gas prices kill

Motorcyclists. Of course, Mary E. Peters didn't quite put it that way. “We have seen the total motorcycle participation in vehicle miles traveled go up,” Mary E. Peters, the secretary of transportation and a "longtime Harley-Davidson rider" told The New York Times. “We might see more people moving to that mode of transportation. We might see that data skew.” (I don't know about you, but I wouldn't use that kind of language around my fellow Hell's Angels.) By the numbers, "Deaths of motorcyclists surged 6.6 percent, to 5,154; 2007 was the 10th straight year of increase… Total deaths in motor vehicle crashes in 2007 declined to 41,059, a drop of 3.9 percent compared with 2006. Deaths in cars fell 7.8 percent, and in light trucks 2.7 percent. Even alcohol-related deaths fell." Obviously, there are enough unconfirmed variables to please/challenge any advocacy group: gas prices, passive safety, driver education, drink drive enforcement, changing demographics, helmet laws, etc. But common sense suggests that gas price hikes are a double-edged sword. At the moment, it looks like a net safety gain. Or loss. Or something.

Join the conversation
4 of 19 comments
  • Dastanley Dastanley on Aug 15, 2008

    Helmets are not required in NM and AZ. That doesn't mean that good common sense shouldn't prevail and that people shouldn't wear them. Most of the rice rocket riders wear helmets around here. But here in NM and AZ, the amount of 50 something and older hippies on their Harleys w/out helmets never ceases to amaze me. Easy Rider - ehhhh!

  • Cavendel Cavendel on Aug 15, 2008
    jpc0067 : MPG on anything other than a Harley, which get around 50 mpg, or a scooter, can be surprisingly poor: 30 mpg on some 600-cc supersports, for example. Most sportbikes can easily get into the 40-50mpg range. They are not particularly aerodynamic, but they just don't have to move much air out of the way. In city driving, they only have to accelerate a few hundred pounds. The same driver that gets 30mpg out of a sport bike would likely get 20 out of a Prius.

  • R H R H on Aug 15, 2008

    I get mid to high 30's city, and mid to high 40's (done a couple full tanks at 48mpg) on my 2005 gsx-r 600.

  • Fred diesel Fred diesel on Aug 16, 2008

    Pretty much with the advent of constant cellphone flappers, two-wheels are not the "fun" they used to be.