Monday, September 27, 2010

Motorcycles are racist?

Sure, they're dangerous, but according to Johns Hopkins, motorcycles are more likely to be fatal for black people. Blacks and whites, with similar injuries from motorcycle accidents, have noticeably different mortality rates. Even when they both wear helmets, a white motorcyclist has a greater chance of surviving his injuries than a black one.

I'm not really sure how to interpret the results, although I give credit to the scientists for admitting that more research needs to be done. Although they tried to account for factors like the sex of the motorcyclist, the severity of the injuries, and their insurance status, it was 1.5 times more likely for black victims to die, with even white motorcyclists without helmets having a greater survival rate than blacks with helmets. I don't know if this is institutional bias on the part of the hospital, if black motorcyclists are more likely to have pre-existing conditions, or what.

Personally, I'm not a fan of motorcycles. I've never been comfortable on one. All of this reading about motorcycle-related fatalaties makes me more nervous than ever to even think about riding them.

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The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
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