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Planning to Ride This Summer? Make Motorcycle Safety a Priority

Posted On June 10, 2016 In Personal Injury

Summer is two weeks away, and many people already have taken motorcycles out for a ride. Whether riding is your main method of transportation or a hobby, there are often dangers created by motorists.

Unfortunately, motorcyclists can be difficult to spot. This is especially true for lighter motorcycles that are smaller and make less noise. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 42 percent of motorcycle accidents are caused by other vehicles turning left in front of motorcyclists. The accident statistics published by NHTSA match what we see in our own practice. A majority of the motorcycle accident cases we handle involve vehicles turning left in front of motorcyclists in broad daylight.

In other words, motorcyclists are practically invisible to motorists. Not only are motorcyclists difficult to spot, but plenty of motorists have bad driving habits. Keep in mind, distracted driving has reached unsafe levels across the country.

It is extremely important that motorcyclists know defensive riding skills. These skills can include how to scan the road and mirrors for potential hazards, increasing visibility by wearing bright clothing and learning the safest ways to overtake other vehicles. Riding in groups is another great way to improve visibility. The purpose of defensive riding is to decrease the chances of being involved in an accident.

Defensive riding skills can be learned in motorcycle safety courses (also called motorcycle operator courses). Motorcycle safety courses are available nationwide, and if you ride, they may very well save your life.

Both new and experienced riders can benefit from motorcycle safety courses. Here’s how to find these courses and why they are of vital importance.

How to Find Motorcycle Safety Courses in Texas

Depending on your situation, you may have taken one of these courses while applying for your motorcycle license. However, additional courses can teach new skills for avoiding accidents. These are the types of courses that will serve as the focus of our blog today. Always make sure that any course you take is certified by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

The first step to finding a course close to your residence, is to visit the Texas Department of Public Safety’s website. Let’s use Lufkin as an example. If we enter Angelina County and Lufkin, we get a listing of two places nearby that offer motorcycle training. Alternatively, if we use Harris County and Houston, we get ten places to choose from.

The results will display the type of motorcycle training and curriculum offered. If links to training centers don’t work, type the business names into Google to see if courses are still available.

Intermediate Courses/Basic II: Intermediate courses are typically eight hours for one day and will sharpen skills used to avoid accidents while riding. Riders who have taken a break from their motorcycle are encouraged to use intermediate courses to relearn or sharpen skills. Skills can include strategies for dealing with traffic hazards, other motorists and swerving techniques.

Advanced Courses: Advanced courses sharpen existing skills for experienced riders. In addition, riders can learn new maneuvers. Riders might learn techniques for traction control, high speed maneuvering and emergency braking. Some courses might also cover tips for maximizing the potential of protective gear and motorcycle maintenance (although similar tips might be found in basic and intermediate courses too).

These are just examples of what you may find after enrolling in a motorcycle safety course. Depending on where you take the course, curriculum can vary.

Motorcycle safety courses are important for obvious reasons. Mostly because riders are difficult for motorists to see, and because motorcycles offer little to no protection from collisions.

When It Comes to Motorcycle Safety, Practice Makes Perfect

Riders know that motorcycle accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, such as bad weather, negligent driving from other motorists or equipment failure. Your skill on a motorcycle can mean life or death, so why not take courses that can sharpen your abilities as a rider?

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