11th Wing Safety Office - Motorcycle Safety - Ride Smart|
Posted 6/6/2011 Updated 6/6/2011
11th Wing Safety Office
6/6/2011 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- Whether you are just starting to think about purchasing your first bike or a seasoned motorcycle veteran, motorcycle safety should always be your prime concern and a riding course is always a good idea and for servicemembers, it is mandatory.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation states the following about motorcycle safety:
- A motorcyclist should attend a motorcycle rider-training course to learn how to safely and skillfully operate a motorcycle.
- A motorcyclist has to be more careful and aware at intersections where most motorcycle/vehicle mishaps occur.
- Motorcyclists must remain visible to other motorists at all times. Don't ride in a car's blind spot.
- Anticipate what may happen. For example, anticipate that drivers backing their cars out of driveways may not see you. Also, place greater emphasis on defensive driving.
- Motorcyclists must be more cautious when riding in inclement weather, on slippery surfaces, or when encountering obstacles on the roadway.
- Motorcyclists must place greater reliance on their helmet, eye protection and clothing to increase riding comfort and to reduce the severity of injury should they become involved in a motorcycle mishap.
- Approximately half of all fatal single-vehicle motorcycle mishaps involve alcohol. A motorcycle requires more skill and coordination to operate than a car. Riding a motorcycle while under the influence of any amount of alcohol significantly decreases an operator's ability to operate the motorcycle safely.
- An estimated one-third of motorcyclists killed in traffic mishaps are not licensed or are improperly licensed to operate a motorcycle. By not obtaining a motorcycle operator license, riders are bypassing the only method they and state licensing agencies have to ensure they have the knowledge and skill needed to safely and skillfully operate a motorcycle.
Some Causes of Motorcycle Mishaps:
- Lack of basic riding skills
- Failure to appreciate the inherent operating characteristics
- Failure to appreciate the limitations of the motorcycle
- Failure to use special precautions while riding
- Failure to use defensive driving techniques
- Lack of specific braking and cornering skills
- Failure to follow speed limit