Rider Safety Education
The state of California state laws requires extensive training before motorcyclists are granted their licensing endorsement. However, many motorcyclists also participate in additional education courses to improve their skills and, in some cases, reduce their insurance premiums. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Should I Participate in Extra Safety Courses?
As with anything, practice helps. Motorcycle courses are designed to impart practical skills and knowledge motorcyclists can use to prevent accidents, regardless of age or experience. While many accidents are completely out of a motorcycle driver’s control, extra training and knowledge of the proper motorcycle safety equipment, can help you react to situations in an appropriate manner and stay safe on the road.
If you are wary about taking more training, ask your insurance provider if they provide discounts for certain courses. They may knock off as much as 10-15% from your policy expenses. As an added benefit, there are many course levels for beginner and experienced riders. You may even meet some new people to ride with.
Rider Safety Education Courses
Some of the more popular courses include:
- Motorcycle Safety Foundation. This nonprofit organization offers courses all over the country. They offer a Basic RiderCourse and Experienced RiderCourse as well as street skills courses and more.
- California Motorcyclist Safety Program. Sponsored by the Highway Patrol, this is the state’s official safety and training program and offers courses for both beginner and advanced motorcyclists. The training program is mandatory for anyone under 21.
There are also several smaller safety education courses that may be available closer to your residence. Search online for motorcycle safety programs in your zip code to learn more about courses that fit your needs.
What You Learn in Safety Education Courses
Riding a motorcycle takes more than listing facts on a test, pointing out steering controls, or even knowing how to change the oil. Like any experiential skill, mastery takes time. These courses are designed to impart safety knowledge you can recall and use in hazardous situations. Understanding the laws, the handling of your bike, and common motorcycle dangers can help you feel more confident behind the handlebars and decrease the likelihood you will experience a spinal cord injury, head injury or other life-altering injury in an accident.
Basic safety education courses teach:
- Introductory knowledge you need to operate a motorcycle, including classroom and experiential training.
- What to wear when you are riding.
- How and when you should inspect your bike.
- Starting and stopping your motorcycle.
- Maneuvering in a number of different driving settings.
More advanced courses include education about:
- Current riding laws and requirements to help you stay up-to-date.
- Riding trends and safety concerns.
- An open forum for discussing current policy and riding habits.
- Learning new techniques.
Wherever you choose to take a course, make sure it is recognized by the DMV and your insurance company. Become a stronger driver and stay safe by participating in one of these programs. The time commitment is relatively small, and it could one day save your life or someone else’s.
If You Are Injured in a Motorcycle Accident
Taking a safety course will not completely eliminate the likelihood of being involved in an accident. Many motorcycle accidents are caused by factors outside of the motorcyclist’s control. The consequences range in severity, but if another party is responsible for the collision or accident, he or she can be held liable.
If you or someone you love has been injured, these programs along with a clean driving record can help prove you are a cautious driver. Taking legal action can help you cover the expenses associated with an accident and your recovery costs into the future.
For more information, contact us at the BD&J Law Firm today for a free initial case evaluation.