Behaviors that lower the danger of
operating a motorcycle.
To promote our mission, NMCTI encourages certain behaviors of motorcycle operators that decrease Motorcycle Driver Fatality Rates.
Also NMCTI discourages certain behaviors of motorcycle operators that increase these rates.
Below are examples of motorcycle oprerator behaviors we encourage and discourage.1 This is not intended to be a complete list. Take some time to think of other items you may add to each list that would be specific to your situation.
First, and most importantly, we encourage you to practice behaviors that reduce danger while driving any vehicle!
1. Know that operating a passenger vehicle on the street is dangerous; operating a motorcycle is much, much more dangerous to the driver.
Develop the habit of identifying and eliminating the unnecessary dangers before and while operating any vehicle.
2. Do not operate any vehicle while impaired. Separate the activities of using alcohol/drugs and operating any vehicle.
3. Match speed to conditions. For example, slow down if it is raining. Observe posted speed signs.
4. Use a Graduated Driver License system. For example, do not award unrestricted licenses to beginner operators. For new motorcyclists, NMCTI promotes the 5 Steps to NMCTI Certified Motorcycle Operator Most US States award unrestricted motorcycle licenses to new motorcycle operators, which has increased the danger. Know that you can choose to "opt out" of operating a motorcycle to lower danger.
NMCTI tracks changes in danger to the population by dividing the annual fatalies in collsions involving at least 1 motorcycle by the population.
NMCTI tracks the danger to the motorcycle oporator by dividing the annual number of motorcycle drivers killed by motorcycle miles traveled.
It cannot be over emphasised that the above 4 items listed are the items have the greatest afffect on the danger of operating a motorcycle. Addtionally, we encourage these behaviors for motorcycle operators:
Keep in mind that driving a motorcycle is a demanding and intense activity, and much more demanding than driving other vehicles;
prepare and participate accordingly.
5 Steps to NMCTI Certified Motorcycle Operator.
Graduated Riding Licensing system.
Riding in Groups: If the group is larger than four riders, break the larger group up into smaller groups of four or less and separate the groups in space and time. The larger group can re-assemble once the destination is reached. Recognize an increase in risk and a change in behavior whenever riding in a group of any size.
Know the difference between sliding and colliding! Riding gear is mainly used for comfort and image. Helmets have some effect on reducing Motorcycle Driver Morbidity Rates, (NHTSA suggest 37%, which is smaller than expected). Unfortunately, helmets are good at protecting the skull and poor at protecting the brain. Using a well-made proper-fitting (not too loose or too tight) helmet while riding is encouraged.2 Riding a motorcycle is a high risk activity, whether or not the rider is wearing a helmet. Our position is that wearing a proper fitting and affixed helmet reduces your chance of experiencing skull injuries, not brain injuries, in many types of collisons.
Simple motorcycle rider Risk Tolerance Test, understanding your danger tolerance.
Other riding gear provides little to no protectin in a collision. Riding gear may provide some protection if a slide should occur after the collision.
Share data with your motorcycling community. Share your knowledge that motorcyling is much more dangerous and demanding than people perceive.
Accept the different periods of your motorcycle operator knowledge development and enjoy and embrace these different periods: The Beginner-time, the Learner-time, and the Ongoing-time.
BEGINNER-TIME: From deciding to become a motorcyclist to just before your first street ride. Know basic motorcycle operation before your first street ride. Know how to confidently control speed and direction of a motorcycle before you interact with traffic!
LEARNER-TIME: From your first street ride to a minimum of 500 miles and 6 months of riding. If you gave yourself a proper Beginner-time, you should already know how to operate a motorcycle before your first street ride to start your Learner-time. Use appropriately sized motorcycles during your learner-time, for however many miles you need and for however long it takes to develop your motorcycling knowledge and skill to an intermediate level.
ONGOING-TIME: Occurs after sufficient mental and physical skill development, and experience, such that you can demonstrate high level proficiency of motorcycling skills. If you have a period of more than 6 months of not riding, manage your first rides returning to motorcycling as if you are in another learner-time.
And some behaviors we discourage:
Time spent riding while impaired. Some common impairments are:
Alcohol and recreational drugs while driving
Other medications that cause impairment while driving
Times of intense mental distractions and/or of intense emotional feelings while driving
Improper/uncomfortable riding gear while driving
Riding any motorcycle on the street before you know how to confidently control the speed and direction of that particular motorcycle.
Using large and/or powerful motorcycles not appropriate for your skill level.
Riding in groups before you have at least 500 miles and 6 months of riding experience. Riding in groups of more than four riders.
1.National Motorcycle Training Institute does not take a position on whether or not you should have the above behaviors. Our position is that motorcyclists exhibiting and practicing these behaviors would have the corresponding effect on increasing/decreasing motorcycle driver fatality and morbidity rates.
2.Riding gear is not effective in reducing high levels of morbidity such as fatalities. Bulky, inappropriate "protective" gear can even be a causal factor in some mishaps. When considering riding gear, match to riding conditions, emphasize comfort, and the image you would like to project to others. Recognize that there are many combinations of other gear for the many different riding environments that motorcyclists encounter on many different rides. The comfort aspects of other gear can help reduce distractions/impairment while riding which can have an affect on mishap rates, as well as if a slide should occur after collision, the less important/less morbid injuries (such as road rash).Return
3. Some food for thought: "A car driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10 or greater is seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle crash than is a car driver who has not consumed alcoholic beverages." This translated to "A sober motorcycle driver is five times more likely to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle crash than is a car driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10 or greater."
Page edited 12.03.12