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Why women make motorcycling safer

Tracy Hughes women make motorcycling safer

The rise of female riders in the ranks is welcome and is changing the whole motorcycling industry, especially in making it safer, says a first-aid expert.

While women represent about 10% of the Australian riding population First Aid for Motorcyclists founder Tracy Hughes (pictured above) says women represent about 20-25% of participants at their Motorcycle Accident Management Training sessions.

“The age group spreads across early 20s right through to women in their 60s and many of these are on the throttle, not on the back,” Tracy says.

Safer in surveys

This reflects several surveys which show women are safer riders than men, don’t take as many risks, seek training at a higher rate than men and consequently are less represented in crash statistics than men as a proportion of riders.

“Women tend not to have the ego that holds men back when it comes to getting regular rider training and asking advice,” Tracy says.

Our mate Paul Riley from Skill Master Motorcycle Service says he is seeing a lot more ladies in his rider coaching and development days.

First Aid for Motorcyclists class safer
Ttracy instructing a First Aid for Motorcyclists class

Tracy says FAFM receives a lot of support for their training program from the women’s motorbike riding groups such as Girls Ride Out, KYSA in Brisbane and all the Ladies of HOG Chapters.

“They don’t have an ego around doing what they can to manage risk and are really supportive of each other,” she says.

“I guess that’s the big thing I notice about woman’s riding groups – the support and lack of ego.”

Social aspects

According to our 2015 reader survey, women are also more interested in the social and travel aspects of riding, than the thrills.

“One of the many things I love about riding is the places you go and the people you meet, I particularly relate to other female riders and generally have an instant connection,” Tracy says.

“Women love the lifestyle and getting out there for a weekend ride.”

She says one of the great things about starting First Aid for a Motorcyclists with partner Roger Fance is the clubs, organisations and various riding groups they meet.

First Aid for Motorcyclists organisers Roger Fance Tracy Hughes
FAFM founders Roger Fance and Tracy Hughes

“When it comes to running a club, women really bring things together and keep the social aspects of a club vibrant and well organised,” she says.

“Just look at Ulysses as an example of great leadership coming from President Helena Gritton and Vice-President Jen Woods.”

More bikes for women

Tracy says there are also a lot more safe bikes for women to choose from thanks to motorcycle companies producing models more suitable to women.

“There are a lot more bikes we can choose from and with the rise in technology this has meant better and easier bikes to handle,” she says.

“Also powerful bikes but physically smaller. The result is women jumping on a bike and feeling safer and more confident.

“There are so many more bikes to choose from but for me a naked sports bike is the way to go … and of course the best bike is my Ducati Monster 821!

“I expect there will be even more woman riding in the next few years and that can only be a good thing.”

(First Aid For Motorcyclists is now up for sale due to illness.)

  1. Quote “While women represent about 10% of the Australian riding population First Aid for Motorcyclists founder Tracy Hughes (pictured above) says women represent about 20-25% of participants at their Motorcycle Accident Management Training sessions.”

    I don’t think this is a very accurate assumption, that this makes lady riders safer than men. This statement only highlights the manipulation of data that can often becomes statistics.

    An impact injury is an impact injury whether it is a rider impacting the road or an object impacting a worker, a abrasion injury, crush injury, again the same. The methodology is the same, risk assessment, again the same.

    How many male riders already hold senior first aid with resuscitation certificates as part of their employment. And as part of their employment shall attend refresher courses.

    Don’t get me wrong I am in no way mocking any first aid course, I think its great, and I believe, every man and his dog that has a license, to drive or ride should be legally forced to have first aid certification as part of the licence system.

    Other than that great article, and yes it’s great, that more and more ladies, are taking up riding hanging off the throttle.

    Ride free ride safe

  2. Have to agree with the artical, the ladies that have ridden with us have always been enthusiastic about their riding and keen to become part of the motorcycle fraternity.

  3. Most studies on female riders don’t consider the number of km travelled.

    Without such basic information it’s hard to say who’s safer?

    Opinions like this are common but unless they’re backed up by some kind of research they don’t mean much.

    PS. Studies on female car drivers also seem to never consider km travelled.
    It’s likely that after correcting for travelled distance there’s no significant difference?
    High mileage riders (mostly men) tend to be excluded from analysis… which may also skew the data a bit?

  4. Interesting article. I don’t think you can categorise that easily. My wife had the same ‘ego’ that stops many men doing training. I’d done heaps and was a doing lots of race track work when I suggested to her “you’re a pretty good rider, but you could be great with some training”. That was enough! “I’ve been riding for 20 years!!! I don’t need training!”
    Anyway, after a lot of discussion she buckled and has become a very solid, competent rider with a lot more speed than most guys I know. There is no doubt though that she does lack the ego I see in many guys. She just doesn’t seem to be able to ride outside her ability.
    The biggest issue I have with the stats quoted is I know so may riders, both male and female who will not spend the money on training. I have always advocated that it is the best money you will ever spend on a motorcycle.

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