Right Gear, Right Training Increases the Safety of Motorcyclists
RICHMOND — Open roadways and adrenaline-pumping adventure are what motorcycle riding is all about, but when it comes to your safety, are you riding smart?
Regardless of how long you have been riding, keeping your skills sharp is essential. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers training for motorcyclists of all skill levels through the Virginia Rider Training Program.
Courses are taught by certified motorcycle safety instructors and provide the opportunity to learn new techniques and practice skills in a controlled, safe environment. Classes are offered at community colleges and other locations throughout the state.
Not only can taking a motorcycle safety course help prepare you for your motorcycle endorsement, it can also save your life. Last year in Virginia, there were 2,048 crashes involving motorcycles resulting in 102 motorcyclist deaths and 1,682 motorcyclist injuries, 737 of which were serious injuries. From 2014-2020, more than 75% of motorcyclists killed in crashes in Virginia were not properly licensed. As failure to maintain control of a motorcycle is a leading cause of crashes, motorcyclists are urged to always obey the posted speed limit.
“Protecting yourself for the ride ahead – with the right gear and the right training – is the best way to make sure you get home safely,” said Acting DMV Commissioner Linda Ford, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Motorists need to look out for motorcyclists, but motorcyclists must also look out for themselves. Safety is a shared responsibility, one we all value and must take seriously.”
Wearing the proper gear, from head to toe, can often save a motorcyclist’s life during a crash. A helmet is the most important piece of safety equipment that a motorcyclist can wear. In Virginia, the law requires that motorcyclists and their passengers always wear a helmet that must meet or exceed the standards as specified by the Snell Memorial Foundation, the American National Standards Institute, Inc., or the U.S. Department of Transportation. A rider without a helmet is 40% more likely to suffer a fatal head injury than a helmeted rider.
To view DMV’s safety message about the importance of gearing up before heading out on a motorcycle, click here. To learn more about the Rider Training Program, visit https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/drivers/#m_course.asp.