Rick’s Gentleman’s Express Blog

Motorcycle news and opinion

Archive for January, 2010

Life turns left in front of Harry Hurt

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I was saddened to learn of the recent passing of Harry Hurt, professor at UCLA’s Traffic Safety Center and author of the Hurt Report. Hurt died of a heart attack last December at the age of 81.

Having spent 11 years as a motorcycle instructor and tester, I used statistics from the Hurt Report often in my lessons. Titled “Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures”, the US Department of Transportation funded study cost half a million dollars to compile and took five years to research. It was published in 1981. It studied 4500 motorcycle accidents in the Los Angeles, California area. Some results were surprising, like the low average speed of most crashes. Others were no brainers, like the importance of high-visibility and helmets. Some confirmed what most experienced motorcyclists already knew, like the danger posed by drivers turning left in front of motorcyclists.

As a motorcycle trainer, I liked Hurt’s emphasis on education and crash prevention rather than whining about the ineptitude of car drivers. As a motorcyclist, I was pleased to learn that Professor Hurt was a long-time motorcyclist himself.

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January 9th, 2010 at 7:53 am

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