Motorcycle Training: Get Some!
Colorado’s “Live To Ride” campaign has a special focus this year: professional training.
There are an array of statistics that support the need for better motorcycle training, despite the fact that many motorcyclists probably react with an “I already know how to ride a motorcycle” stance. Here are some of the worrisome numbers, as reported by KDVR Fox 31:
- Motorcycles account for 18% of Colorado traffic fatalities yet they only make up 3% of the state’s registered vehicles.
- More than a third of fatalities in motorcycle accidents involve drivers who do have have the legally required motorcycle endorsement on their licenses.
- More than half of motorcycle accident fatalities were single vehicle crashes.
KDVR brings us a statement on the subject from the Colorado State Patrol:
‘These factors point to the increased need for proper motorcycle training. The absence of an endorsement, for example, typically indicates the operator has not received the training necessary to navigate our roadways safely,’ said Col. James Wolfinbarger, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. ‘There’s no doubt that some of these deaths could have been avoided if the rider had been properly trained to understand the dynamics of their bike and how to handle various road conditions and curves. However, we know riders are not totally to blame. Drivers of other vehicles need to share the road and be more aware of motorcycles around them.’
This perspective is shared by authorities outside Colorado, as well. In Jackson, Mississippi, a trio of fatal motorcycle accidents have brought this problem front and center. While training is not a cure-all, it is still a vital ingredient in helping bikers avoid accidents and stay safe on their bikes. David Kenny of WLBT 3 in Mississippi spoke with Jeff Myers, the head of Central Mississippi Motorcycle Training Incorporated. While Myers believes that “more motorists need to respect motorcyclists, and realize they share the road too,” he also agrees that “all motorcyclists need to complete some type of training before getting out on the road, which is sometimes not done.”
In Illinois, training is also moving to the forefront, as Rodney Hart, a writer for the Quincy Herald-Whig, takes note:
The Illinois Department of Transportation, Gold Wing Road Riders Association, A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education and other motorcycle advocates have joined forces for a statewide campaign called ‘Gear Up,’ designed to promote continuing rider training and proper gear use. The campaign is highlighting and encouraging motorcyclists to prepare for the upcoming riding season through free training courses and educational materials available to improve motorcycle safety on Illinois roads.
Every edge is important when riding a motorcycle — professional training is not remedial education. There is always room to learn more about how your vehicle handles, and how a variety of road conditions can affect it. Training is extremely important, and even if you’ve been riding for a long time, you can certainly benefit from some more training. At the very least, it can act as a refresher course, even if you’re already aware of what it may have to teach.