San Francisco | East Bay | Marin | Peninsula | Central Valley
The press loves to link motorcycles and accidents. For them, deaths are even better. So it comes as no surprise that the national media reported on 9 deaths from motorcycle accidents associated with Sturgis.
I have no more information than the press reports, which is quite sad, since the reports are lacking in anything that smacks of journalism, much less investigative reporting.
For example, a women is reported to have died after her motorcycle hit a truck from Colorado. The only fact we are given is that she wasn’t wearing a helmet. Of course, this is designed to lead us to the conclusion that she died needlessly, because she 1) rode a motorcycle and 2) did not wear a helmet. Would anyone care to know whether her injuries were such that a helmet might have made a difference? Anyone care how the accident happened, or whose fault it was? Details are absent from the published reports.
The other deaths are uniformly reported within a few sentences of the drunk driving statistics.
I would like to know how many deaths would be expected in an event lasting as long as Sturgis, involving 500,000 participants, and bringing people from so many geographics? Don’t automotive accidents kill people, particularly at motor vehicle related events? How does this compare to enough car racing events to add up to 500,000 people over so many days? What about rock concerts? This is a whole lot of people to pull together for that amount of time.
The saving claim here is the press pretension that examining this question makes life safer, as opposed to being a somewhat ghoulish morality report.
Problem is, there is no way to learn anything from such incomplete reporting. The news on Sturgis was hardly more useful than rumors or gossip.