Oklahoma State-OKC Offers Motorcycle Rider Safety Course
If you were flipping through the pages of The Oklahoman recently, you might have overlooked the article about motorcycle rider training courses being offered at Oklahoma State University-OKC. For any novice biker, it’s critically important to develop solid fundamental riding skills and be alert to street strategies to avoid accidents.
Oklahoma city has a lot of motorcycle enthusiasts. And we’re happy to read that the university Basic Rider instruction classes are popular. We’re even more pleased that there are many more opportunities in coming months for riders to sign up.
If you’ve missed out on them, plenty of opportunities remain to sharpen your riding skills, with the classes offered through December. The dates are: Aug. 23-24; Sept. 13-14 and 27-28; Oct. 11-12 and 25-26; Nov. 8-9 and 22-23; and Dec. 13-14, according to the OSU-OKC course website. The two-day courses include five hours of classroom instruction and 10 hours of on-motorcycle instruction.
As motorcycle accident attorneys who represent injured motorcyclists, we understand that even well-trained and safety-conscious bikers can sustain serious and fatal injuries in collisions with cars and trucks. Often, motorcyclists are the victims of debilitating wrecks because motorists simply don’t see them. Even if you’ve been riding for years, some up-to-date instruction could help you brush up on your defensive driving skills and enable you to avoid an accident – maybe even save your life.
Many Incapacitating Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Nearly 1,750 motorcycle crashes were reported in Oklahoma in a recent year, according to state statistics. Those crashes caused 425 incapacitating injuries and 95 fatalities.
Motorcycle accidents took the lives of 84 in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). About 75 percent of the people killed in Oklahoma motorcycle crashes are not wearing helmets at the time of the crash, according to the NHTSA.
State law requires only motorcyclists under 18 to wear helmets, even though use of a federally-approved safety helmet is recommended to help riders avoid head injuries.
Because motorcyclists are often thrown from their cycles in crashes, head injuries are common. The other most common types of motorcycle injuries are broken legs and arms, muscle damage and road rash.
Ten Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
Follow these tips from motorcycle.com to stay alive and well this season:
- Make eye contact with motorists who are about to pull into your path and never assume they see you.
- Read “vehicle language” because motorists, pedestrians and other cyclists often misjudge your distance and speed.
- Beware of left-turning vehicles at intersections. Crashes with oncoming vehicles turning left are the most common type of motorcycle wreck.
- Look behind you when turning left. Keep an eye on your mirrors and make sure you have plenty of space for a turn.
- Watch out for road hazards such as wet roads, fluid spills, sand, gravel, highway sealant, railroad tracks, potholes and anything else that could make you lose traction and cause a fall.
- Slow down on curves and avoid overshooting a road and crossing the center line, which could cause you to get hit by oncoming traffic. Make sure you’re in the proper lane before turning.
- Wear a proper safety helmet. Helmets can prevent head injuries in 67 percent of crashes and fatalities in 29 percent. Ensure it has a sticker proving it meets safety standards.
- Wear clothing made to protect motorcyclists. Proper clothing can help you avoid injuries such as road burn. It also can keep you warm and dry, which helps you stay alert and focused.
- Protect eyes and face from wind, bugs, water and any other flying hazards. A full-face helmet with a built-in shield works best.
- Maintain high visibility with bright, reflective clothing and add reflective material to make sure other motorists can see you.
The two-day course at OSU-OKC costs $190 and offers strategies for avoiding street trouble, information on the effects of drugs and alcohol, and training to avoid collisions. Sessions run from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and include five hours in the classroom and 10 hours on the motorcycle, which is provided.
This is a great opportunity for Oklahomans to improve their motorcycling skills and avoid dangerous crashes. We hope to join you for a ride.
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