With summer riding season here, Colorado Department of Transportation is starting a campaign called Ride Wise to encourage motorcyclists - including those with years of experience - to improve their skills.
CDOT reports that 86 riders and passengers died in crashes last year, and 69 percent of the motorcyclists were at fault. According to crash data, the most common causes were losing control in a curve, speeding, and running red lights.
The Ride Wise campaign targets older male riders who have hundreds of miles on their bikes but little or no hours of formal training.
"Many riders who have been on the road a long time believe they're highly skilled," said CDOT highway safety manager and longtime rider Glenn Davis. "While that may be true, statistics show us honing riding skills through training refines existing skills and prepares even experienced riders for unpredictable situations. We challenge riders to select a skill to work on this riding season and get some advanced training."
The campaign features print ads and videos with real Colorado riders, each with more than 30 years experience, who rely on safety training to hone skills. Their stories show the value of safety training, even for experienced riders.
One of them is Dennis "Stump" Haberstumpf. "Are you the best rider you can be? Do you think you can't get any better?" he asks. "Challenge yourself. I've seen too many people crash. Let's not crash in the first place. Let's get trained."
The campaign focuses on techniques such as braking, counter-steering, and cornering, since more than one-third of 2013 fatalities were caused by losing control on a curve. Campaign materials encourage life-long learning and advanced training courses. View one of the videos at http://tinyurl.com/ridewise.
Additional resources for riders, including class information, are available at COMotorcycleSafety.com. The curriculum incorporates classroom education with real life application on controlled courses, so riders can improve skills and be more prepared to react quickly in dangerous situations.