Studies show that the most dangerous time for motorcycle riders is the first year after they receive a license, with the first month being the worst. The first 30 days are four times more risky than the entire second year. Experience really counts when it comes to preventing motorcycle accidents.
A study by the Highway Loss Data Institute shows that of the 57,000 insurance claims for motorcycle crashes between 2003 and 2007 shows that nearly 22 percent of crashes took place in the first 30 days. By the six month mark, the claim rate had dropped two-thirds.
Motorcycle accident deaths were highest in 2008. 5,312 motorcycle riders lost their lives that year, and some attribute that number to the growing popularity of motorcycle riding among baby boomers. The drop after 2008 has been seen as a consequence of the recession – motorcycle sales dropped nearly 50 percent.
In some states, required motorcycle training programs for riders under 21 has resulted in a higher rate of crashes. This surprising statistic may be the result of riders being fully licensed right away after completing the program. In contrast, New York has no required licensing course. Rather, riders must pass a written test and then can ride only with a licensed motorcyclist for one year and only then can they take a road test or pass a multi-day class.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers a basic class for new motorcycle riders that has been completed by more than six million people in the United States.
Source: Wall Street Journal, “Data show risk highest for new motorcycle riders,” Apr. 15, 2012.