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Motorcycle Safety Tips

Motorcycle Safety Tips

 Countersteering:  What is it? Check out this article from the U.K. site “Survival Skills”  |  Can you steer a bike by leaning rather than countersteering? Keith Code says no in his “Twist of the Wrist” book series

Mechanical Safety:  Keep your motorcycle in good running order with maintenance and repair information on the wBW Motorcycle Maintenance and Repair page with links to many articles; also see the complete index of wBW motorcycle maintenance and repair articles

Motorcycle Accident Scene Management – Removing Motorcycle Helmets from Crash Victims:  Motorcycle Accident Scene Management – this page has some detailed information on what to do in case of a motorcycle accident  |  The basic rule is: don’t do it unless you have been specifically trained; the Motorcycle Association of New York State has a video available to professional rescue personnel on these techniques (not available on their website, email  | Motorcycle accident scene reconstruction – interesting detailed case study of a motorcycle accident

More Motorcycle Safety Links:  The Maryland MVA Motorcycle Safety home page  |  Motorcycle scare statistics from the Brain Injury Association  |  Yet more scary statistics (Note: .pdf file) from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety; also several tables of useful accident statistics  |  Interesting tips on “High Performance Street Riding”  |  The Road Safety Index has some interesting articles about the effect of lighting sources and colors on visibility and other information about road safety in Australia  |  The National Association of Black Bikers website has a section on motorcycle safety and training  |  U.K. laws, regulations and tips on motorcycle safety

Proof That Cell Phones Distract Drivers:  Read this interesting article about a Carnegie Mellon study that claims to prove humans cannot converse on cell phones without becoming distracted from driving

Motorcycle Brakes – Braking:  
Interesting study by George Soodoo, U.S. DOT, Team Leader, Vehicle Dynamics Division, Office of Crash Avoidance Standards comparing motorcycle braking for several different models with/without ABS 

Motorcycle Riding Skills:  The wBW Book Review page has information on many books related to improving your motorcycle riding skills  |  See also the wBW Motorcycle Training and Track Days page  |  The Motor Cop Survival Video is a riding video used by law enforcement agencies for training in street survival skills; available from Canyon Press (Los Angles, CA); no website – call 323-656-9801  

Motorcycle Safety Studies:  The Hurt Study Summary – The Hurt study, published in 1981, was a ground-breaking report on the causes and effects of motorcycle accidents  |  The NHTSA Helmet Study – This study assessed the effects of motorcycle helmets upon seeing and hearing by having 50 riders operate over a test route, changing lanes in response to an audible signal under three helmet conditions: none, partial coverage, and full coverage  |  TheGoldstein Helmet Study – This study evaluates the effectiveness of motorcycle helmets in accident situations. It is concluded that (1) motorcycle helmets have no statistically significant effect on the probability of fatality; (2) helmets reduce the severity of head injuries; and (3) past a critical impact speed [13 MPH], helmets increase the severity of neck injuries  |  National Agenda For Motorcycle Safety – Published in December of 2000; download a complete copy for free here  |  Older Motorcyclists by Dr. Frank Glamser, an IBMWR President  |  Motorcycle Crash Countermeasures – a study from the U.K. available for purchase  |  From the European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research (COST) here is the COST Project 327 page on “Motorcycle Safety Helmets” with a description of the project and links to two downloadable files, one describing helmet testing procedures and the other is a report on accident descriptions and analysis of helmets  |  A different take on daytime running lights(DRL’s) and other safety issues for motorcycles; from the U.K.  |  A list of studies for and against daytime running lights for motorcycles  |  The Benefits of Motorcycle Conspicuity Measures from Road Safety Committee of the Australian government of Victoria  |  Motorcycle Helmet Use Laws from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety  |  “Motorcyclists who are conspicuous are under-represented in crashes”; read more from NHTSA  |  The Snell Foundation has information comparing Snell and DOT standards; helmet FAQ’s; testing requirements; lists of certified helmets and more

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Flip-Up Helmet Safety
From “D.L.” (10/09):  “I just finished reading your review of the Caberg Sintesi and I want to make a general comment as to this entire category of helmet.  I purchased my first flip up, a Schuberth, in the late eighties and have continued to purchase the same or similar helmets since then.  The bulk of my miles are done two up in two or three big trips every year.

In the name of yuppie fashion, my wife wears the same helmet.  Last year, in an effort to control noise on my R1200GS, we switched to full face helmets.

This year we did a three week tour in Italy and I dropped the bike in 0 mph off camber, uphill turn.  We were on, what I would describe as a paved goat path.  Very steep, narrow and very off camber.

As we made the turn, uphill to the right, a large dump truck was coming down.  I was way out into his path and tried to slow to move to the right side.  I put my foot down and there was nothing there.  We were virtually stopped, I lost balance and over we went.

The truck stopped and helped us up and we continued on.  It was a hot day and we were traveling slowly.  Normally, in our flip-ups, we would have had our shields up.  Luckily we had full face helmets on.

When we fell my wife flopped face first directly onto the pavement, hard enough to crack the chin of her helmet.  It rang her bell hard enough that we needed a break for her to recoup.  I don’t want to think what would have happened without a chin bar.  Bottom line is we wear these contraptions for a good reason.  It now seems foolish to me to purposely lessen that protection.  Caveat emptor.”

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