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Just How Critical is Motorcycle Rider Training in Reducing Wisconsin Motorcycle Crashes?

Although motorcycle fatalities in Wisconsin have declined since 2007, there are still too many motorcycle deaths that could have been avoided. When motorcyclists are highly experienced, they may be able to reduce their chances of avoiding serious motorcycle wrecks.

Because of this knowledge, the Wisconsin state government is encouraging riders to get more education and training in hopes of reducing the overall motorcycle crash rate. And officials want to be clear about senior riders: just because seniors are older riders does not mean that they are more experienced and that they couldn’t benefit from being retrained. In fact, the crash statistics reveal that an alarming number of motorcycle wrecks in Wisconsin involve senior riders.

There could be many reasons why older motorcycle riders are getting into more and more wrecks on their bikes. Some reasons include:

  • Some older riders haven’t hopped on a bike for a number of years, and have forgotten critical motorcycle safety tips.
  • Some senior riders only ride a couple times a year, making them more of a novice rider.
  • Older riders who haven’t ridden in a long time make little mistakes because they forget certain skills and the rules of the road.
  • Senior riders may not have had a motorcycle license since they were young men. When they get their licenses again, they get back on the bike as if they were 20 years younger.

Due to the reasons listed above, it’s not surprising that 40- to 50-year-old males are leading the other age groups in motorcycle wrecks. According to Greg Patzer, manager of the Wisconsin Motorcycle Safety Program, “The skills involved in operating a motorcycle are perishable. It’s not unlike the requirements for flying an airplane where you have to update those skills routinely to stay sharp. We’re seeing the need for the experienced riders to do that. Training should be a lifelong learning experience.”

This is the reason the state designed courses to improve motorcyclists’ skills and help riders avoid fatal Wisconsin motorcycle accidents. There are different programs that can train or retrain any rider, no matter the age. These courses include:

  • Entry-level rider course, designed for new motorcyclists.
  • Intermediate level course, designed for returning riders who need to sharpen their skills.
  • Advanced course, designed for experienced riders. The course is being piloted in Madison.
  • Three-wheel tricycle course, designed for operators of trikes.

It is best to take a refresher course for your own safety. However, even the safest rider could be injured in a Milwaukee motorcycle crash due to a negligent driver. If you have been hurt in a Wisconsin crash due to no fault of your own, you should talk with the accident attorneys at Hupy & Abraham in a free consultation. Call us toll-free at (800) 800-5678, and also request a complimentary guide, The Ultimate Guide for Motorcycle Accident Victims, which will help you learn more about your rights after a crash.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham