Motorcycles can be especially dangerous vehicles, especially during the first several months of riding when the rider is still learning. Proper training courses are a great way to teach beginning riders important skills and reduce the risk of accidents.
Some of the top reasons motorcycles get into accidents with other vehicles are:
- poor weather conditions;
- lane splitting;
- other drivers not seeing the motorcyclist; and
- ignoring traffic conditions.
Because motorcycles are small compared to cars, there is a much higher chance that motorcyclists will sustain serious injuries in accidents. Training courses can help mitigate some of these risks.
General Course Curriculum
Basic motorcycle beginners training courses include information about:
- the motorcycle’s controls;
- the equipment needed to ride the motorcycle; and
- strategies to reduce risk while riding a motorcycle.
The importance of identifying and managing risks as a motorcyclist are key course concepts. Aspects of motorcycle riding, the courses, focus on strategies to manage these risks, like:
- correct position;
- smart processing of information; and
- braking and swerving techniques.
Usually the course includes several hours of classroom instruction and then several hours of riding at the course facility.
What are the benefits of motorcycle safety courses?
Motorcycle courses help reduce the risk of accidents by exposing riders to some of the skills they need to avoid accidents, like braking, cornering and swerving. In academic studies, motorcycle courses were shown to substantially decrease the chance of an accident in the first six months of riding: the time when riders are most at risk of crashing their motorcycle.
Additionally, motorcycle courses can lead to many benefits for the course participants. In many states, taking an approved motorcycle safety course qualifies a person to skip motorcycle license testing.
Insurance companies may reward riders for taking motorcycle courses, as well, by offering lower premiums on their insurance. Or, for example, many companies offer reduced discounts if you insure more than one vehicle under their policy. Also, if there are certain safety features on your vehicle then your premium may be reduced.
States Requiring Motorcycle Safety Courses
The following states require training courses outright for riders to acquire their motorcycle licenses:
- Rhode Island; and
In 17 other states, courses are required for riders under the age of 17, 18, or 21. The rest of the states do not have any educational requirements for riders, although many states support motorcycle training by appropriating money in their budget to fund courses.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation is the author of the most widely used series of courses on riding. To find the location of a training course near you, visit their website’s RiderCourse Locator at www.msf-usa.org.
Taking motorcycle safety courses can help motorcycle beginners reduce their risk of an accident by avoiding hazards and teaching proper riding. In the event of an accident, investigators and insurance adjusters will examine the cause of the accident to determine who is liable. If you find yourself in this situation and were seriously injured, contact an attorney for legal representation. Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help – call 800-550-0000.