All motorcycle drivers and riders know the excitement and thrill that comes from that first ride on a new bike. However, the period where a motorcycle driver is most at risk for a motorcycle accident is in the first year of operation, with the first month being the absolute most dangerous. During that first month, riders are getting used to their new bikes and learning how to navigate the road in a different way, all while trying to enjoy their new toy.
When riders complete their motorcycle training, they are fully licensed; some lawmakers believe that this needs to change. Lawmakers urge the creation of a permit or training window, similar to that imposed for obtaining a full driver's license, claiming that this will greatly reduce the amount of first year riders' accidents.
The state of New York has already instituted a graduated licensing policy and time will tell whether they see a reduction in accidents. Another reason for those dangerous first thirty days is simply inexperience. It takes time to learn how to operate any machine, but when that machine can take a life, the driver needs to be even more patient during the learning process.
Even after riders have driven their bikes for an extended period of time, there are still some basic safety guidelines they can follow:
• Take turns cautiously. Enjoy riding the back roads, but slow down on right turns. Watch for loose gravel and potholes as well.
• Practice tricky maneuvers. Some actions are more difficult than others such as stopping on a hill, riding on wet pavement and shifting gears. Practice these harder tasks so they become natural movements.
• Be seen. Ride appropriate distances from vehicles and follow traffic restrictions and guidelines.
• Respect the road and others on it.
Source: Insurance Journal, "Data Show Risk Highest for New Motorcycle Riders," April 17, 2012
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