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6 characteristics of a safe motorcycle rider

September 5, 2013 by Steven M. Gursten

Safe motorcycle rider

I came across this  list of the 6 characteristics of safe motorcycle riders.  It was authored by  Lorrie Laing of Cambridge Systematics, Inc. at the Governors Highway Safety Association Annual Meeting, Sept. 1, 2009.

I do not know Lorrie Laing personally, but I’ve handled enough  serious motorcycle crashes in my own legal career (and possibly more motorcycle crashes than any other accident lawyer in Michigan) to know this is a great resource that every motorcycle owner and operator would be well advised to read.

Here is the list of 6 steps to be a safe(r) motorcycle rider:

  1. Has few motorcycle accidents: And incurs few injuries.
  2. Wears personal protective gear: For conspicuity and comfort.
  3. Avoids impairments: Such as alcohol, drugs, fatigue, distraction and weather extremes.
  4. Conducts an aggressive visual search: Which includes risk perception, hazard recognition, hazard response, head movement, speed and sight distance, and allows for response/reaction time.
  5. Manages space and time: Through visibility, lane position, following distance, space cushion, escape route, speed control and gear selection; and
  6. Demonstrates proficient operating skills.

Although Ms. Laing mentioned wearing protective gear, I believe another characteristic should be added as its own category: Wear a DOT-approved safe motorcycle helmet on every ride.

A skilled motorcyclist is practices safety and responsibility on the road, while always wearing a motorcycle helmet,  is far less likely to have a motorcycle accident.

Related information:

8 steps to better – and safer – street motorcycle riding

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