“Anyone can ride a motorcycle. It’s just like riding a bicycle, right?”

Wrong! Any experienced rider knows that correctly operating a motorcycle requires a different set of skills than either riding a bicycle or driving a car.

Despite this fact, very few riders actually take the time to go through a safety or defensive riding course geared specifically for motorcycle riders. According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, 90 percent of all motorcycle riders either taught themselves to ride or learned from a friend.

Here are four good reasons why you might want to reconsider taking a motorcycle safety course to perfect your skills:

1. Rider Error Causes Crashes

While self-taught methods may work for some (and are perfectly legal), the sad truth is that many Maryland motorcycle accidents occur due to operator error or rider inexperience. Getting formal training on how to correctly maneuver the bike may very well save you the pain of a serious crash.

2. Defensive Driving Prevents Crashes

Most rider safety courses teach at least some defensive driving tactics. Riding defensively on a motorcycle is not the same as defensive driving in a car. Learning how to protect yourself from some of the hazards unique to motorcycle riders may make the difference between a minor injury and a serious one.

3. Insurance Companies Like Safety Courses

Auto insurance companies frequently advertise discounts for safe drivers. This applies to motorcycle riders as well. If you’ve taken a motorcycle safety course, you may be eligible for a discount on your motorcycle insurance policy.

4. Maryland Is a Contributory State

Simply put, this means that if you contribute at all to the accident in which you are injured, you are no longer eligible for compensation for that injury. The best way to avoid being accused of causing your own injuries is to ride safely and defensively. Having had formal training will help you perfect your riding skills and may help you convince the judge or jury that you truly are an experienced rider who did not do anything to cause the crash.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a motorcycle accident caused by someone else, you should talk to a Maryland motorcycle accident attorney who can help you prove your innocence. Call Nickelsporn & Lundin at 800-875-9700 for a free consultation.