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Riding Motorcycles and Managing the Risk of Death and Injury

Certainly riding a motorcycle increases the risk of death or injury in a traffic accident. An important idea that is put forward by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation is that accepting this risk, is the first step in managing the risk. Once you accept that there is additional risk, then you can take steps to manage the risk.

So, what are the steps that can be (and should be in my view) taken to manage this risk?
  • Wear protective clothing (pants, shoes, gloves, jacket, helmet) always.
  • Increase your visibility - light colored clothes/helmet, lights.
  • Learn the needed skills - take the MSF courses, and/or others.
  • Practice the skills. Make a concerted effort to practice the skills.
Many people recognize this additional risk, and chose to avoid it by not riding. That's fine with me, however I invite them to not tell me that I shouldn't.

I guess I will also refrain from telling other motorcyclist how they should manage the risk, unless they solicit it by getting into such a discussion. But if someone wants to ride without a leather jacket and without a helmet, that's up to them.

Another aspect of accepting the risk, I believe, is accepting your eventual death. Sooner or later, we all will die (not a proven fact, but statistics strongly indicate it). In my view, its not so important when we die, or what we die from. Its much more important what we do between now and then. I believe that we should be living in what I call "Dog Heaven."