You have probably heard the saying…….” There are two kinds of riders: those who have been down and those who are going down.” For over twenty years I stayed upright. Close calls now and then, but I was fortunate to stay in the “those who are going down” category. Then it happened. Going a little too fast into a curve that was a little tighter than I anticipated on a road I wasn’t familiar with. As the curve got tighter and tighter, I laid the bike over further and further hoping to save it. But when I left the pavement, the bike low-sided (that means I was under the bike sliding with it as opposed to a high-side that launches the rider over the handlebars). It was a frightening experience. Thankfully, I was wearing proper gear: Helmet, gloves, motorcycle jacket and pants, and boots. The gear did what it was designed to do and protected me from injury. My pride was hurt, my handlebars were bent, and a bar end was pretty messed up, but I was okay. As I lay on the road next to a motorcycle that was laying on the road, I had two thoughts: “How am I going to keep my wife from finding out about this? “And “This never should have happened. “My next-door neighbor helped me with the first part, but that’s for another story. And yes, I’ve come clean since then. But keeping it from happening again was up to me.
Motorcycle accidents happen, but if a rider is willing to invest time and money into proper training and practice, many motorcycle crashes can be avoided. There are more resources available to riders than ever before, and if you live in the Upstate of South Carolina that you don’t have to look far for quality instruction and training. I chose a training course that gave me the option of using somebody else’s bike. The BMW Performance Center right here in Spartanburg County offers world class instruction for both off-road and on-road riding. I took the off-road course in April of last year. Nearly all of the instruction takes place on the bikes as participants perform drills, each building on the previous one, until at the end of the day riders are doing things on their motorcycles, they would not have thought possible when they arrived. I learned so much from that course that I signed up for the Street Survival course at the performance center in October. Knowing that the skills I learned in the spring made me a safer rider, I even signed my brother up so he could join me. If you ride a street bike of any kind, I strongly recommend taking the course. As confidence builds on the bike throughout the day riders learn techniques from obstacle avoidance to emergency braking that can literally be life- saving. And if you drop their bike, as many do, it is in a controlled environment and costs you nothing.
Other courses are offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Several motorcycle dealerships offer courses as well, some tailored more to your kind of bike. Choose one and try it. It will make you a better, safer rider. Some insurance companies even give a premium discount for completion of the course. Take a look at some advice I give regarding insurance for motorcyclists. I represent riders that are injured as a result of motorcycle accidents. Unfortunately, not every accident is avoidable. If you are hurt in a crash caused by a careless driver let me help you. Stay safe. Let’s ride.
Wes Kissinger is the managing partner of Harrison White, P.C. Click here to read more about Wes.
The posts on this website/blog are published as a service to our clients and friends. They are intended to provide general information only and should not be construed to be formal legal advice regarding any specific situation and should not be construed as forming an attorney-client relationship. Success in the past does not indicate the likelihood of success in any future representation.