ARLINGTON, Va – Motorcycles are hard to see while driving down the road and can easily be hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot. The end result in these situations can be fatal.
Motorcycles are the most vulnerable vehicle on the road, which is why motorcycle safety is pushed upon riders, said Reed Graham, a motorcycle riding instructor of Driver Training Cape Fox Professional Services.
Because riders are so vulnerable, it is important that both motorcyclists and drivers must consider the risk of death when sharing the road, said Graham.
In 2008, the Corps implemented the Basic Riders Course to guarantee that all riders know the basics of riding. The course, required for Marines who ride, is free for all active duty and Department of Defense employees, as well as retirees and dependents. During the course, students get five hours of classroom time and 10 hours of driving time.
Edward Billig, an instructor with DTCFPS, said that the course helps riders by providing them with the correct techniques and fundamentals, so when they get on the road they know how to share it with motorists.
Graham said rider’s also learn the basics of limited space maneuvers, avoiding hazards, curve negotiation and how to stop quickly and safely. These maneuvers are designed to get a motorcyclist out of a bad situation if one occurs.
The basic rider’s course is not just for new riders.
“People who have ridden before have some bad habits, we are improving them,” said Graham.
Cpl. Francisco Olmeda, a K-9 handler with Marine Helicopter Squadron One, Marine Corps Air Facility Quantico, Va., took the course to get his license. His advice to drivers on the road is to always check their blind spots when changing lanes or turning because riders are completely exposed to potentially fatal injuries.
Olmeda said after the course he is more confident and aware of activity on the road.
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