First month is shakiest for motorcyclists

A recent accident in which a man and his grandchildren were injured while riding a motorcycle serves as a sobering reminder of how dangerous motorcycle accidents can be. New riders can be particularly vulnerable to serious crashes. In fact, data suggests that the first year, and particularly the first month, of motorcycle riding is the most dangerous for new enthusiasts.

What it comes down to is experience, or lack thereof, according to the vice president of the Highway Loss Data Institute. In the first four weeks of riding, motorcyclists are four times more likely to crash than during their entire second year of riding.

There are a number of tasks that a motorcyclist must get used to and sometimes juggle at once, including shifting gears, braking, balancing on one foot and releasing the clutch.

According to the Republic, one study showed that of 57,000 insurance claims involving motorcycle crashes, 22 percent of them took place in the first 30 days after an insurance policy was in effect.

Strangely, states with required training programs for riders under 21 years of age actually show higher rates of accidents. There is a basic rider course offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation in 48 states. But apparently only 45 percent of riders have actually taken the course.

Part of the problem may be the motorcycling is fun and can get in the way of safety. Says one rider, “Even though a motorcycle is not a toy, it still brings out the child in me.”

Source: The Republic, Motorcycle crash risk drops sharply after the first month on the road Michael Virtanen, April 15, 2012