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New Riders Have Higher Accident Rates

For new motorcycle riders, their initial rides can be very exciting and memorable experiences. Unfortunately, they can also result in accidents and severe injuries. According to a number of safety studies, first year motorcyclists are prone to have accidents; especially in the first month of owning a new bike.

Matthew Moore, vice president of the Highway Loss Data Institute, explained to the InsuranceJournal.com that new riders are four times more likely to have an accident compared to second year riders. He cites inexperience as the predominant factor in most crashes, since operating a motorcycle is not an easy task. Simply pulling away from the curb involves a number of carefully coordinated actions: balancing on one foot, feathering the throttle, gauging traffic for the right opening, shifting gear, and releasing the clutch.

In fact, an HLDI study showed that 22 percent of collision claims between 2003 and 2007 occurred in the first 30 days after an insurance policy took effect. The claim rate dropped one-third in the second month and almost two-thirds after six months. Also, data from state-required training programs suggests that such classes may not have a significant effect on preventing crashes involving inexperienced motorcyclists. Riders taking classes in California, Florida, Idaho and Oregon had a higher crash rate compared to riders in states without such requirements.

Nevertheless, riders can take several steps to protect themselves. Knowing and respecting the bike’s power and capabilities is essential. By learning what the bike can (and cannot) do through a training class, riders can discover what type of motorcycle suits their interests and abilities.

Also, riders should obey applicable traffic laws, and avoid riding between lanes of slow or stopped traffic. Further, using headlights regardless of day or night and staying out of drivers’ blind spots are important steps in avoiding accidents. Lastly, wearing a helmet is arguably the best way to avoid severe injuries.

Even with these precautions, accidents still happen. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can advise you.

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