Safety & Security
We ride because we have a common passion for the freedom, excitement, and fellowship found in riding. However, to get the most out of riding we need to ride safely. Riding a motorcycle involves accepting a certain amount of risk. The best way to manage those risks is by educating ourselves and by working on our riding skills. Fortunately for us there is an abundance of educational information available in books, reports, videos, on the internet, and by taking training classes. There are also plenty of opportunities to improve our riding skills by practicing safe riding techniques every time we ride on the street and by practicing low speed maneuvers in the parking lot which translate into improved skills on the road.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) offers relatively low cost courses in our area geared to different skill levels from beginner to advanced rider. The courses include classroom time and time on the “range” or parking lots with expert instructors. The courses cover a wide range of topics including risk awareness, acceptance, and management; personal protective gear; riding skills including braking, cornering, the accident chain; and many more. Our HOG chapter reserves a date with MSF for an advanced rider course at the beginning of each riding season. You can take the course with your fellow HOG members and work on your skills together, learning both from the MSF instructors and from your fellow riders. No matter how long you have been riding, there is always something to learn at an MSF course.
There are also plenty of other resources available concerning motorcycle safety including the Hurt Report. The Hurt report was a ground breaking report prepared by researcher Harry Hurt in the 1990’s in which he and his team analyzed data from over 3,600 motorcycle accidents. From that information Hurt was able to identify the major factors common to most accidents. Below is a summary of just a few of the Hurt findings:
- Approximately three-fourths of the motorcycle accidents involved collision with another vehicle, which was most usually a passenger automobile.
- Approximately one-fourth of these motorcycle accidents were single vehicle accidents involving the motorcycle colliding with the roadway or some fixed object in the environment.
- In the single vehicle accidents, motorcycle rider error was present as the accident precipitating factor in about two-thirds of the cases, with the typical error being a slideout and fall due to overbraking or running wide on a curve due to excess speed or under-cornering.
- In the multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle right-of-way and caused the accident in two-thirds of those accidents.
While the argument could be made that the Hurt Report is dated, it still stands as the most comprehensive report of its type. And one that we can all learn a great deal from. You can learn more about the Hurt Report by clicking on the link on this webpage.
And you might also want to check out the links to other websites or articles on important topics including, hearing protection, stopping distance, vision, riding in the rain, group riding and the other topics.
Riding is fun, especially with a group of friends from our HOG chapter. However, it is a lot more fun for you, and those riding around you, when we are up on our skills and ride safely. Ride smart, ride safe.