Marines vs. sportbikes

In the past year, the U.S. Marine Corps has lost more personnel to motorcycles than they’ve lost in Iraq. Top officers will meet Monday to discuss the problem. 25 Marines were killed in the past 12 months (24 of them on sportbikes). The USMC offers mandatory training for motorcycling Marines, and sportbike-riding Marines are already required to take an additional class.

2 thoughts on “Marines vs. sportbikes”

  1. Interesting, I saw the article, not mentioned were: How many riders were killed because cars violated their right of way.

  2. I figure this story will be somewhat controversial because there are a lot of ways to interpret the data, and a lot was left unsaid. For instance, comparing combat deaths (and only those in Iraq, for that matter) to motorcycle deaths is completely irrelevant, but it makes an interesting story. And it’s entirely possible that the percentage of fatalities among motorcycling Marines is lower than that of the general motorcycling population, or that more Marines were killed in automobile accidents than motorcycle accidents.

    The fact that the military is addressing the problem, however, to some degree implies that there’s irresponsible behavior going on. And responsible motorcyclists know that motorcycle safety has little to do with “right-of-way” and a lot to do with risk prevention and defensive driving, which seems (at least to an outsider) pretty counterintuitive to the gung-ho military mentality.

    As my dad said when he was teaching me to drive “Right-of-way doesn’t matter if you’re dead.”

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