Rider Training & Rider Safety Culture

The foundation of any good quality system or organisation is largely based in the quality of initial and recurrent training.

Motorcycling is no exception, however there might be a flaw in the structured training of an individual rider, in that, although the initial instruction from a riding school or individual instructor may be comprehensive and may raise the skill levels of a student rider to the point at which they might pass the test, there is no provision or obligation for a rider to undergo further or advanced training thereafter, neither, in many areas, is there a requirement to undergo recurrent training or testing.

When a rider demonstrates poor riding practices it may be perceived, especially in a newly qualified rider, that there was a deficiency in the standard of rider training. The counter argument to this is that when a rider leaves the training environment, they are free to do as they see fit and are uncontrolled by the instructors, therefore the blame is with the rider who is ignoring the training and prior road sense advice.

Whilst there may be incidental examples of poor training, for the most part the standard is quite high and the local state or national testing facilities provide the practical test standards and framework to regulate the training providers.    

Regardless of the type of activity, without practice, the performance level will drop. Without recurrent training and testing there is no standard to gauge current performance.

Motorcycle riders on the whole do tend to have a greater awareness of their environment and the hazards that are presented on the roads and in most cases do portray decent riding standards. However, there are a large percentage of motorcycle accidents that have been caused either by rider error or bad practice or that the rider was unable to anticipate and avoid a potential hazard that was presented before them.

There are many influences that a rider faces, be that printed, internet or broadcast media that would tend to lead a rider to riding beyond their existing skill capability or not to factor in hazard perception and sometimes the rider just adopts other methods and forgets the original practices or is influenced by other rider’s bad practices and advice.

Every rider, regardless of riding experience, will at some point ‘deviate from centre’ and it is recurrent training that will ‘re-educate‘ a rider in road and rider skills. 

However, they must be in a position to want to learn. There has to be an acknowledgement by the rider that they could benefit from further training and that any kind of training is beneficial even if it only reinforces what is already known.

On a daily basis, the emergency services deal with so called accidents on the road, however the reality is that in the vast majority of cases, at some point there has been human error that has caused the accident, hence why these are now more commonly referred to as road traffic incidents.

Motorcycle accidents are no exception. Any rider may have an accident at any stage, however, good riding skills and good road sense will reduce the probability of being involved in an incident. Riding a motorcycle requires a different set of skills and the crucial factors affecting the stability of the rider and bike are much more varied and acute.

By undergoing further training or advanced training, by adopting a safer riding mentality and by riding within a rider’s skill set, these will be the most productive tools to avoid being involved in an accident or incident.

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