Classes are not the Cure-all for Motorcycle Safety

On behalf of Kammholz Law PLLC posted in Car Accidents on Sunday, April 15, 2012.

Motorcycle season has begun. While that means fun for the many motorcycling enthusiasts in New York, it also means that we might want to brace for some motorcycle accidents in the near future. Traveling by motorcycle is undoubtedly dangerous, partly due to the riders but also largely due to drivers of traditional motor vehicles. A recent Associated Press report, however, focuses on how to better prepare motorcyclists for the road. Just as inexperience is a threat to traffic safety among traditional motorists, cycling inexperience also leads to traffic accidents and injuries. According to the Highway Loss Institute, the first month of riding is a dangerous time for motorcyclists (and the motorists around them). Research shows that accidents are more likely to happen in the first 30 days of riding than in the same rider’s whole second year of riding. Perhaps new riders should wear a big warning sign on their bikes to warn motorists of their inexperience. It’s no surprise that inexperience leads to accidents, but there is really no way to completely combat inexperience. Drivers have to start driving sometime and will obviously learn how to better handle their motorcycles and work with traffic over time. Studies suggest, oddly, that training courses that lead to licensure are not the complete answer to combating inexperience and the accidents that follow. In New York, a written motorcycle driving test gets drivers a year-long learner’s permit. Classes often lead to a quicker receipt of a license, and traffic safety advocates suggest that those drivers don’t get enough learning experience to safely hit the roads alone. Combine motorcyclist inexperience with standard motorists’ reckless habit of not seeing motorcycles and it’s no surprise that accidents happen. As stated above, inexperience cannot be completely erased from the roads. What is within the realm of drivers’ control is their focus on the road and adherence to traffic laws. Requirements regarding training and motorcyclist licensing can be changed, but when a careless motorist takes an illegal turn because he fails to yield to a motorcycle, the best of training wouldn’t save a biker’s life. Source: The Associated Press, “Motorcycle crash risk drops sharply after the first month on the road,” Michael Virtanen, April 15, 2012