Daily Archives: May 18, 2011

One Dies in Motorcycle Crash on Route 96

Riding a motorcycle is inherently riskier than driving a car, all things being equal. But things aren’t equal, since motorcycles “share the road” with other vehicles. Those other vehicles are responsible for 56% of the deaths of motorcyclists. Passenger vehicles alone account for 89% of the fatalities of motorcyclists in two-vehicle crashes. For the passenger vehicle drivers involved in two-vehicle motorcycle crashes, 35% of the driver-related factor was failure to yield right-of-way compared to only 4% for motorcycle operators, as in this crash in Perinton.

In other words, that driver just gets a ticket for failing to yield right of way even though they’ve killed someone. Don’t be that driver, pay attention when you’re driving. That motorcycle you turn in front of has a human being operating it, a human being who deserves to live as much as you do.

Notes: My statistics come from the NHTSA [PDF]. You will note that the remaining 44% of motorcycle fatalities are of the “lost control of the motorcyle” type for which the riders themselves are the sole cause. There’s a lot we as riders can do to make things better as well.

The real Da Vinci Code

Slate is running a fascinating series this week on the Rosslyn Chapel’s stone cubes. If you’re one of the many folks who read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, you’ll remember the chapel as the location of much of the later action and possible home of the Holy Grail. It’s real and you can visit it should you find yourself in Scotland.

Modern research has pretty much disproved most of the legends surrounding the chapel (sorry, Dan) but explanations for much of the interior carvings are lacking, mostly due to a scarcity of documentation from the original builders. But now modern researchers have a possible explanation for at least some of the symbols found in the stone work. It’s not a conspiracy, but it’s still fascinating. The series concludes on Friday.