Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Risk and reward in motorcycling

A data point…

Lawrence: You’re giving up motorcycling?

Ali: For pleasure, yes. On a regular basis, yes. If there’s no other way, perhaps I’ll use two wheels. Or a horse.

Lawrence: What prompted this? An epiphany or an accident?

Ali: Statistics. Motorcycle riders are 35 times more likely to die in an accident than a car driver.

Lawrence: Ah, statistics, the modern superstition. Can’t argue with death as an ultimate cost, I suppose. Or the pain of injury. Seems risk far outweighs the reward. 

Victim of the risk averse
Ali: So after 23 years, green machine goes to the scrapyard. Count myself lucky I’m still alive and unscathed.

Lawrence: Sounds like you are trying to wrest some control back into your life.

Ali: I did recently get more interested in risk management, yes.
The biggest problem for a motorcyclist is that he or she is vulnerable to the mistakes other drivers make. Perhaps motorcyclists favor freedom yet are fatalistic? Motorists surely trade feelings of freedom for a sense of greater control.
But avoiding flaunting risk behavior, and having a hyperreflective self-disciplinary attitude, must help lower the risk for the alert and cautious rider.

And DataDan, in an enlightened assessment of risk, has this to say: Motorcycling attracts risk seekers, but it rewards the more risk averse.

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