Motorcycle riders often overlook the importance of a motorcycle safety course. Most people take on alternative approaches to get their license and study only enough to pass tests. The truth is that there are no other means of motored transport in which the driver is as exposed as in motorcycles. Riding a bike without a proper motorcycle safety course is not only a hazard to the rider, but also to other occupants in traffic. Even pedestrians could be in danger. We will tell you everything you need to know about motorcycle safety courses. Also, we will share with you a great pair of accessories that will make your ride safer at all times. Read on and ride safe.
Motorcycle Safety Courses are so necessary because they can save lives. It has been studied extensively by many government and non-government bodies, and the results are always the same. Prevention in the field of road safety is a game-changer. Some places have more strict laws than others, but laws by themselves don´t save lives. The importance of adhering to those laws can be taught at a motorcycle safety course. Let´s start from the beginning and take a look at hard data gathered in the US. The numbers are alarming, and government entities are reaching out to riders to let them know. Consider these numbers one more reason to take a motorcycle safety course right now.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of motorcycle-related deaths increased rapidly in the last decade. From 2000 to 2010, the number grew by 55%. To say it in numbers, the number of riders that got killed in crashes by 2010 was of 4,502. By the year 2016, that same number had gone up to 5,286. This number is twenty-eight times higher than the rate per car occupant.
Age – Despite the common belief that younger people are the riskiest population when riding a bike, they are not. According to data found in 2010, more than fifty per cent of the casualties for motorcycle crashes were 40 and older.
Helmets – 41% of the riders who died in 2010 because of motorcycle accidents were not wearing a helmet. 50% of the passengers who passed away during motorcycle crashes in 2010 weren´t wearing a helmet either.
Location – Rural roads is where fifty per cent of the motorcycle crashes took place in the last year.
Alcohol – Drinking and driving is a terrible combination, but drinking and riding is an even worse one. The risk of crashing increases dramatically. 28% of the riders who passed away due to a crash in 2010 had illegal blood alcohol concentration.
Motorcycle Type – Opposite to what most people might think, the majority of the casualties because of motorcycle crashes were mid-sized bikes. These machines´ design maximises the bike´s agility and speed, which might turn into a hazard for the rider.
According to an assessment carried on in 2010, 42 per cent of the fatal motorcycle crashed involved alcohol. According to the same study, 48 per cent involved speeding. Eliminating those two risk factors from your driving, you can lower your odds of a crash by 90%.
Well, there are many things to do to avoid being in a motorcycle crash. Taking a motorcycle safety course is the first and most important. It can lead to riders being aware of the danger they are exposing to while riding their bike. Also, they can bring awareness over what are the precautions they should take for themselves and others. We have put together a list of preventive actions you can choose to ride safer. This list does not overrule taking a motorcycle safety course, but to complement it.
It is a widespread mistake made by novice riders as well as experienced ones. It is clear that the motorcycle world changed drastically in the last decades. Most motorcycles, even in the small-engine category, have boosted torque and increased performance. If you are a rider who has been out of the motorcycle world, watch for this.
Moreover, if you are a novice rider, your entry-level bike should be one you can handle. Things to check:
Height – You should be able to put both feet on the ground, not just the tiptoes. Also, handlebar and controls need to be at a comfortable reach for you. If you are among shorter people, check our blog about motorcycles for short riders.
Weight – If you feel that the bike is heavy, it probably is too heavy for you. Also, try turning it to the side and see if you can bear the weight.
Buying the right bike is much more than just a bike you like. It should fit you. If you take a motorcycle safety course but can´t cope with your bike, you´ll be a hazard to yourself and others.
A fact about ABS technology is that according to the IIHS, it can save lives. Motorcycles that were equipped with ABS brakes were 37 per cent less likely to be involved in a fatal crash. Moreover, they are becoming increasingly common, even in entry models for some brands. Why are they important? It is merely because most riders lock up the brains in panic. ABS won´t block and allow the rider some ability to steer during an emergency. A motorcycle safety course can help you develop the skills for steering as well. Also, slippery conditions benefit enormously from ABS equipment. This technology can save your life.
It is proven beyond doubt that motorcycle safety courses can save your life (and your passenger´s). Some of them will teach you the necessary skills you need to cope with in most situations. Also, safety instructors can show you how to refine your skills and perform, for example, emergency manoeuvres. Moreover, to have a certificate of an approved motorcycle safety course can make you eligible for an insurance discount. Some motorcycle manufacturers offer a unique line of credit for those who sign up for a motorcycle safety course.
Let´s start by exposing facts:
Wearing a helmet while riding your bike reduces death probability in the event of a crash by 37%.
In the year 2010 in the US only, helmets saved the life of 1,544 riders involved in accidents.
Helmets reduce the probability of suffering a head injury in the event of a crash by 69%.
Rehabilitation from head injuries cost up to 13 times more than any other body injury during a crash. Also, head injury and its consequences are the number one traumatic situation for family and friends
Although universal helmet laws are prevalent around the world, some riders avoid them. If you take a motorcycle safety course, the safety instructor will tell you about helmets from day one.
There is a widespread belief that wearing a helmet might reduce your vision and hearing abilities. Also, it is the comfort issue most people bring to the conversation. There is no substantial evidence supporting either theory. Moreover, none of these is reason enough to avoid wearing a helmet that can save your life.
It is another safety precaution that a lot of people overlook. From day one at your motorcycle safety course, the instructor will tell you there is correct clothing and gear for riding. Also, there is extra protection you can wear to avoid peeling against the asphalt. Most riders go for leather because it is the most resistant and wind-proof material. In warm weather, some jackets have ventilation, rugged padding and are of a breathable mesh material. Another thing that motorcycle security course will teach you is that you need to wear proper eye protection. Finally, wearing bright colours, especially in foggy weather or dark areas, is more than recommended.
According to recent studies, when a collision happens between cars and motorcycles, cars have the fault 60% of the times. It is another thing that a motorcycle safety course will teach you right away: pay lots of attention. First, because of the increasing number of drivers using their phones while they are behind the wheel. Second, because of road obstacles that won´t harm a car can be a hazard on a bike. Finally, as you will probably lean at your motorcycle safety course, above tailgating by all means. Always keep prudential distance with cars and other vehicles.
As much as drivers need to avoid distractions at the wheel, you should avoid distractions at the handlebar. This is lesson one of day one of your motorcycle safety course: pay attention to the road. For example, common things as wet leaves in autumn, an oil residue left on the pavement or many more can be a real hazard. Also, avoid drastic manoeuvres when raining or under heavy winds. To prevent sliding over pebbles, sand or other common material, pay attention and take turns slower. Finally, don´t use any screen electronic device while riding. If you want to follow your GPS, place it where you can see it while seeing the road. If necessary, buy a dedicated appliance to fit it to your bike.
There are many accessories in the market that can make your riding safer and more enjoyable. We will not talk about helmets as an accessory because we want to foster the idea that it is as important as the clutch. That being said, there are some things to bear in mind about helmets:
DOT Standard – Created in 1974, the DOT standard establishes the minimum requirements for a helmet to be commercialised. The most protective ones are full-face helmets, which cover from the chin to the back of the head. When attending to a motorcycle safety course, you will be recommended this kind of helmet.
Quality – If we were to ask you how much is your head worth, what would you answer? Well, that answer should be your guide to buying your new helmet. Also, bear in mind that a helmet´s function is to protect you. Never sacrifice protection quality over applied sound technology.
The STS is a small and easy to install accessory that is especially useful for urban riders. Although it is also handy in the open road, I guess it gets its most significant impact in city traffic. What it does is to disengage the indicator lights on your motorcycle once it senses you completed the turn. If you are a car driver, you know exactly how it works. At your motorcycle safety course, your instructor will tell you not to leave turning lights on. It can cause accidents because you are giving false information to other vehicles. This accessory will solve that for you. Also, it is straightforward to install and compatible with most bikes in the market.
I invited all my riding buddies to submit their motorcycle details to check if the Smart Turn System is compatible with their motorcycles. The STS team will also send you a special offer, so make sure to take the opportunity and fill out the form below.
The Smart Brake Module is a ground-breaking idea. It is impossible that nobody thought of this before. It is the ideal accessory for those who love driving in the open road. What it does is very simple, but also very important; it engages your brake light when you lose speed when you don’t apply the brakes. For example, if you release the throttle while riding but don´t hit the brakes, this accessory will sense it, and it will engage the brake light for you. Again, lesson one from day one of your motorcycle safety course, your bike has a stop light that engages when you break. If you are like me and prefer to stay out of brakes in the open road and cruise with just your throttle, this accessory is right for you.
Having a motorcycle safety course is a definite must, regardless of how many years of riding you´ve had so far. There are always new things to learn and what better place than a formal academy. Besides, you can get time to practice manoeuvres you might need someday and never performed.
Is there any safety measures you apply daily, and we missed it? Feel free to leave us your comments and share this article to fellow riders to raise awareness over motorcycle safety courses.
Stay safe and happy riding!