Impaired riding


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Impaired riding

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:57 pm



Just browsing through this month's Motorcycle Consumer News magazine, and they have an article on impaired riding. Some sobering stats:

29% of motorcyclists killed in collisions in 2012 had a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08%, the legal limit in most states.

In single vehicle crashes, 43% of motorcycles who died were legally intoxicated.

It always made me wonder: being that all of the things that alcohol inhibits (judgement, sight, hearing, balance, reflexes, muscle control) are critical when riding a motorcycle, why do people drink and ride? And yet all summer long, at least in my area, every bar you see has a forest of Harleys sitting outside of it.

Am I missing something? What is it that makes people do this?



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Mag
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Re: Impaired riding

Postby Mag » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:16 am

I do love my beer, but when I am drinking I do not ride/drive. No way no how, not gonna.

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Re: Impaired riding

Postby rooferx » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:19 am

Ive been alcohol and drug free since 1986 or I coulda been a statistic ..Your sense of judgment is the first thing that becomes impaired when drinking..

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Re: Impaired riding

Postby dingdong » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:27 am

I cannot tell a lie. I have on occasion had "one" beer with a meal. Never stopped at a bar to just have a beer though. Last year while riding the Three Sisters in Texas there were almost no bikes on the road except at a couple of bars along the way which were packed with Harleys.
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Re: Impaired riding

Postby minimac » Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:22 pm

Let's be fair...it's isn't just H-D riders(although more often than not). Almost every poker run/benefit ride I've been on has ended up at a bar. Will that change now that more states are considering making pot legal? Talk about being impaired!!!

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Re: Impaired riding

Postby Mspinner » Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:50 pm

That also isn't fair...id rather be in a room full of weed smokers than drunks any day. i dont know of anyone, and im in my 50's get in a wreck because they smoked some weed...but i know many who have been drunk and lost thier lives or worse, takin someone elses. Not saying its a correct thing thing to do, but personaly, i have been drunk many times and drove. Both car and bike. stupid i know. and thank god i never hurt anyone. but being drunk was the sole reason i went down on my 76 FLH in 1990. Learned a great lesson. Yes, riding a bike should be done with a clear head period! but its not going to happen. if givin a choice tho, i would rather share the road with the weed smoker than the whiskey drinker any day!! Just my opinion and not meant for an argument.

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Re: Impaired riding

Postby squirrel » Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:35 pm

Here in uk the limit is 35 micograms in 100 millilitres of breath but as a personal measure if i do have a few beers i always leave a minimum of 12 hours from bottle to throttle always better safe than sorry

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Re: Impaired riding

Postby tom84std » Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:45 pm

In September of 2012 I was just finishing my BSA Café project. I had just put knee rubbers on the tank one afternoon and decided to wring it out a bit. A car ahead of me made an emergency stop and the rest is history. I was riding that day with a blood alcohol content of .24 . No amateur drunk does anything with a BAC of .24. I was a thirty year professional. No amateur.
Not long after that I decided to give things a try without the alcohol. Thirty years of living with it wasn't working out. My daughter and the Veterans Administration made it possible. November 5th 2012. The day of my last drink.
All that intro was just to explain that I've been there. A person can consume dangerous amounts of alcohol but still do anything they would be able to without it. They really think that. That's the nature of the beast. The hardest thing to do is convince a drunk that he shouldn't do something. When a person is wrapped good and tight they're ten feet tall and bullet proof. Everything's fun and they're sharp and focused and not at all impaired.
I know a guy who has a $30,000 Harley. He'll spend hours polishing it and then ride no farther than to the watering hole to drink beer with the gang.
He and his friends are riding down a road I've ridden many times in my past and the destination is a bad place to be.

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Re: Impaired riding

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:11 pm

tom84std wrote:In September of 2012 I was just finishing my BSA Café project. I had just put knee rubbers on the tank one afternoon and decided to wring it out a bit. A car ahead of me made an emergency stop and the rest is history. I was riding that day with a blood alcohol content of .24 . No amateur drunk does anything with a BAC of .24. I was a thirty year professional. No amateur.
Not long after that I decided to give things a try without the alcohol. Thirty years of living with it wasn't working out. My daughter and the Veterans Administration made it possible. November 5th 2012. The day of my last drink.


Tom, that's commendable and admirable. Good on you!

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Re: Impaired riding

Postby Big Blue UK » Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:34 am

I have never touched the stuff, tried lager, beer and cider once on holiday, like drinking pi$$, same goes for all soft drinks these days. Unfortunately so does the coffee, to me anyway. The price I pay is taking a stove, water, and kettle, and my own coffee everywhere I go, so I can get a decent cuppa.
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Re: Impaired riding

Postby harvey01 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:15 am

tom84std,

Thank you for sharing! It is always great to hear from the folks who have been there. Good luck and continue your sobriety!
harvey
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Re: Impaired riding

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:23 pm

I'd like to be able to tell you all that I'm a perfectly behaved human being. I'm not. A few years back, I stopped drinking because I felt it was controlling me, while all the time I did drink I was under the impression I was the one in control of the alcohol... 1991 was the last year in which I drank any alcohol. I drove under the influence on many occasions. I was fortunate because I never hurt anyone or got stopped or ticketed for the stupidity I engaged in.

I do not recall EVER riding a motorcycle under the influence, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't have done it if circumstances had been different. Lookoing back on the earlier years of my life, it is a miracle I made it out of drinking alive and I'm grateful my irresponsible behavior didn't cause anyone else physical pain or worse.

None of my children have ever seen me (or my wife) drink anything with alcohol in it. I won't even take cough or cold medicine if there's alcohol in it. Only one of our kids drinks at all, despite my attempts at trying to convine him that nothing good ever comes out of a bottle (or can) with alcohol in it.

My Dad was a horrible drunk, and I recon I believed that I was supposed to be like he was. He died a drunk. At the end of my days, I plan to be able to say the same thing I tell people now. I may be an alcoholic, but I'm sober today and I have been sober since my LAST drink way back on August 9th 1991.

After all this time, I can't tell anyone why I used to drink. I can tell you why I stopped :-)
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Re: Impaired riding

Postby seelyark1 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:35 pm

All that intro was just to explain that I've been there. A person can consume dangerous amounts of alcohol but still do anything they would be able to without it. They really think that. That's the nature of the beast. The hardest thing to do is convince a drunk that he shouldn't do something. When a person is wrapped good and tight they're ten feet tall and bullet proof. Everything's fun and they're sharp and focused and not at all impaired.

Read more: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=25600#ixzz3QL3leQm7

Tom, there are a bunch of pot smokers that think the same thing. Wish they could see themselves :lol: . Saw a lot in Viet Nam that didn't know when or where to shoot :cry: . Others worked hard to save them, but "they were fine" :cry: .
Ride safe, and smart. Asphalt is like #1 grit sandpaper. Dave

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Re: Impaired riding

Postby littlebeaver » Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:54 pm

When I was 20 ish I drank lots of beer and rode around on my Kawa,,, I almost ran into a telephone post one night and found myself swaying,,,, I realized that night I didn't have control like I thought I did... I quit riding around impaired,,, Now, it is rare I even have a beer,,, maybe during a football game .... Harley dudes are known for this....You see them at bars often... :shock:

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Re: Impaired riding

Postby Harp » Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:59 pm

When I started riding again about 7 years ago, my wife made me promise 2 things; that I would always were a helmet and that I would never drink and ride the bike. I really love beer and make my own. Love fine scotch and have a pretty good wine collection. But, I have kept my promise and will continue on that path.
Worked in ICU & ED for a while. Most MC accidents that came in, the injured parties BAC was almost always over 0.14 and no helmet. The one that stands out in particular was a man on a Harley that blasted thru a yellow/red light. Cross traffic car hit the back end of the bike. His wife was the passenger, no helmet, took the full force of the collision and was pronounced at the scene. He didn't wake up until he hit the Unit. Couldn't give him any pain meds or sedatives due to head & possible spinal injury. He kept asking about his wife and was finally given the news. He was inconsolable and again could not be medicated. They had both been drinking and bar hopping. He blamed himself for her death. I would not want to have to live with that.
This reminds me why I don't want to be that guy. Not even 1 beer for me while around the bike.

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Re: Impaired riding

Postby scootsx2 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:12 am

When our BTW trikers chapter rides, we frequently stop for lunch at bars or taverns and without exception I have never seen any of our riders drink alcohol. Always ice tea, soda or water. Unfortunately I can't say the same for some other riders I have seen at the same venues.

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Re: Impaired riding

Postby gemotra » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:57 pm

Over the course of 37 years in the insurance claim business, I've seen the whole spectrum of motorcycle crashes and have far too often had cause for dismay and bewilderment at people's willingness to ride impaired. When one considers how markedly we narrow our margins for error just by choosing to ride at all and how easy it is to have an accident while perfectly sober (as most of us can doubtless attest), the decision to retard one's concentration, judgment and reaction time with intoxicants of any sort is beyond puzzling, approaching the tragic.

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Re: Impaired riding

Postby Sidcar » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:28 pm

If you don't drink and drive what do you drink instead? I gave up on alcohol thirty years ago and in all that time I haven't a decent non-alcoholic drink. They're either sweet or fizzy or both. Surely someone somewhere knows of a sharp clean refreshing not fizzy non alcoholic drink.
Root beer is nice but too fizzy.

Sid

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Re: Impaired riding

Postby easymoney » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:21 pm

with the noise and vibration of a harley i guess that harley riders feel they have to be drunk to put up with a harley. i cann't understand why so many riders love straight pipes. the quieter the better for me.

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Re: Impaired riding

Postby littlebeaver » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:34 pm

Gemotra . I have to ask, does a insurance company still cover the damages to the bike or person's family upon death
when a impaired rider crashes?

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Re: Impaired riding

Postby roadieric » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:51 pm

Mspinner wrote:i would rather share the road with the weed smoker than the whiskey drinker any day!!


I've found that the biggest challenge to a leisurely ride after a few tokes of "Mother Nature's finest" is NOT stopping at every inviting little diner along the road in order to sample the local home-cooked specialties. (smile :mrgreen: )

On a far more serious note, I have learned from experience that tequila & motorcycles DO NOT mix well, and I've lost more than a few brothers & sisters of the road over the years due to the insidious effects of alcohol.

To that point, I have lobbied long & loudly to make more of our group run stops at restaurants as opposed to bars. Then again, personally I get much more enjoyment from spending a sunny day riding a bike rather than a bar-stool, but maybe that's just me?

Oh yeah, and then there's the concept of all those ever-vigilant law enforcement officers who just LOVE lavishing their undivided attention on motorcyclists, but that's a whole other topic.

As a wise man I know once quipped: "ride careful, the life you save may owe me money."
Ride safe, read often & rock on!

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Re: Impaired riding

Postby Big Red 94 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:03 am

You ask if it is in other countries. Well its a known fact that here in Australia we also run our events around Pubs. No matter the occasion there are pubs, no one goes to a coffee house usually unless its in a place called Canungra in the south east corner of Queensland. Also Robertsons Pies down in NSW up from Kangaroo Valley. But mostly pubs. But since about 1990 I gave up the drink and other forms of substances, and lead a sober life. All to often in my line of work I see drunken stupid people everywhere and in all forms of vehicles. Im not a cop, I am a bus driver and spend 12 hours a day on our roads every day. But getting back to bikes, it is a real problem when these runs are held because riders dont just have a cold Coke or Lemon Squash but have a few glasses of the old Ale. Too many times on large runs it brings out the idiots who think they are now in a Moto GP race. Harley riders seem to stand out more so, don't know why but I think it has something to do with the pipes, **** extentions. They just like the sound of the pipes hoping to blow an ear drum on you as they go past. But the boy racer is there on his pocket rocket ready to race amongst the crowd of riders. If they didnt have a few ales then they would be a bit more settled. I am not against drinking, a good time is allowed but when it comes to a point were you put someone or yourself in danger, thats a problem. Once dead there is no coming back, and if you caused that death because of alcohol, will you be able to live with yourself. Come on guys, go for the runs but leave the booze alone. Surely you can have a few hours out without drinking, you make what you want out of your day, its easy once you learn how. Safe riding to all, no matter your mount.

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Re: Impaired riding

Postby Phavas » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:42 am

I feel like a reprobate in this forum.
I use my bike(s) daily and usually have lunch in a restaurant. I have wine with lunch and drive home.
I'm not hammered and don't take any more risks than driving a high powered motorcycle in Paris presents.
Just goes with the territory.
Drinking isn't a problem for me, as far as I can tell; at 65 I don't tie one on: I hate hangovers more than I like alcohol. I haven't tried to drive after lighting a doobie as I don't think my thought process would allow me to: I'm too introspective when I'm stoned.
I'd like to see the statistic of drunk cagers involved in bike wrecks. I'm not macho but I'll bet money a biker with a couple of beers in him / her is twice the driver an impaired cager is.

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Re: Impaired riding

Postby t2oldbikes » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:09 am

Always made it a policy to never drink and ride. There were always enough people around me driving badly to demand my full attention. One time I broke policy and had about three Manhattans in the course of an evening at a friends house leaving around
11:00 pm. The Shadow Ace I had at the time had always been a stable and straight ride, never hunting around or demanding a lot of input even when popping along at 105 on the freeway. For some reason it was very wobbly and weaving around down the side street
that night at 25. I became very aware very quickly and made it home with no damage done.
I make it a point to adhere to policy now.

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Re: Impaired riding

Postby knowhoweman74 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:42 am

I don't drink hardly at all. Once in a great while at a bbq or some get together like that, BUT I am not driving, not a car and definitely not my bike. I am often times called an old stick in the mud for not drinking like everyone else. The kids around me (30 years and older but still kids to me) make drinking alcohol part of their day to day activities and refuse to listen to this old man. The few times I have gone on group rides there has been stops made at "watering holes" but I have not consumed any alcohol tainted beverage, and I keep distance between myself and those that do. I have had several friends and family members killed in accidents related to alcohol consumption and don't want my family and friends to have to go through putting me in the ground. I do enough stupid things anyway, I just don't need to add this one to it.




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