Mountain Musings with Uncle Mott – Born To Be Wild

Aug 17, 2023 | Uncle Mott

Seems there’s been a rash of motorcycle accidents on mountain area roads of late, some with fatalities and some not. This is not surprising since motorcycles, or “murdercycles” as I like to call them, are inherently dangerous.
In case you’re wondering where I came up with the term “murdercycle,” it was back in the 70s, when I was working my way through school as a central office technician for Pacific Telephone Co. (a division of AT&T, aka “Ma Bell”) in the company’s Fullerton office, where employees were prohibited from parking their motorcycles in the company’s parking lot. This was true companywide.
The term “murdercycle” presented itself in a film shown at one of our mandatory, monthly safety meetings. Ma Bell also prohibits its employees driving company vehicles from making left turns as they, too are inherently dangerous (you have to make a series of right-hand turns until you can go the desired direction). According to accident attorneys, cars and trucks making left-hand turns are particularly dangerous for motorcyclists. In fact, 43 percent of fatal motorbike-car accidents involve a car or truck turning left while a motorcyclist is going straight or passing the other vehicle.
Get your motor runnin’ out on the highway, head out on the highway looking for adventure in whatever comes our way. I like smoke and lightnin’, heavy metal thunder, racing with the wind and the feeling that I’m under. (“Born To Be Wild” – Steppenwolf – 1968)
Again, according to accident attorneys, motorcyclists account for 14 percent of all crash-related fatalities in the U.S., even though they are only 3.5 percent of the vehicles on the road. Motorcyclists are 24 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a car crash and 40 times more likely than light-truck occupants.
In 2021, 5,932 motorcyclists lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. This demonstrates that motorcycles are getting more, rather than less, dangerous because this was the highest number of motorcyclist deaths since 1975.
I suspect the numbers are higher for motorbike accidents on our mountain roads and highways, particularly for Highways 18, 138 and 330, which, in my opinion, are inherently dangerous due to their steepness and many sharp curves.
Sorry my weekly musing isn’t very amusing because motorcycle-related deaths are no laughing matter. I never permitted my children to have or to ride motorcycles. However, they don’t always listen or respect good advice. My advice, if you love your children, is to put your foot down and demand compliance. End of rant, have a nice day.
Yeah, darlin’, gonna make it happen. Take the world in a love embrace, fire all your guns at once and explode into space. Like a true nature’s child, we were born to be wild. We can climb so high, I never wanna die.
Keep it flyin’,
Uncle Mott


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