Motorcycles More Dangerous Than Combat
More American troops have died on US roads in off-duty motorcycle accidents after they returned from Afghanistan than have been killed fighting there since September 11, 2001, safety records show.
Military commanders in north Carolina say the deaths are largely the result of boredom, bonus pay, and adrenalin to burn off after troops return from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Nearly 350 troops have died on motorcycles since the 2001 terrorist attacks. That`s compared to 259 killed while serving in Afghanistan. Nearly 1,000 more troops have been injured on motorcycles.
I’m not certain if the figures still hold true, but at one time more members of the Canadian Forces acrobatic Snowbird team had been killed in road accidents than in airplane crashes. (Though, I suspect, like most , they tend to drive like they fly.)
In the course of my business I’ve had the pleasure of riding with a few customers and friends who race motorcycles. Oddly enough – or perhaps, not so – they’re among the most careful of street riders. Of course, a few high speed “get offs” on the track can have that effect on someone.
“When the doctor told me that he was dead, I told him that wasn’t acceptable, it just wasn’t acceptable,” said Andrea Strickland, 22, the widow of Mark Strickland. “I said, `He just got back from a war zone, and you’re going to tell me that he died doing something he loved?'”
Lt Gen James F Amos, commander of the Camp Lejeune-based II marine expeditionary force described the crashes in October as “a cold shot to the heart” and ordered a crackdown. The following month normal base operations were halted to focus on safety, particularly for motorcyclists.
Sounds like they could use a few track days.