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Seattle motorcyclists are most at risk during first year riding

Seattle residents who are thinking about buying a motorcycle might be interested in the results of a couple of new studies. Motorcyclists are most likely to crash during their first year riding, and the heaviest risk time is the first month, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute. Another study found that licensing classes that are fast-tracked do not lower crash risks.

According to statistics from the Highway Loss Data Institute, motorcyclists are four times more likely to crash during their first 30 days on the bike than in their entire second year riding. In fact, the Institute's study revealed that 22 percent of about 57,000 motorcycle accident claims from 2003 to 2007 took place less than 30 days after an insurance policy went into effect.

The institute also analyzed crash data in different states in an effort to understand whether state-required motorcycle training courses lower collision risks. It turned out that in states where riders under 21 are required to take the courses--California, Florida, Idaho and Oregon--graduates of the classes may be 10 percent more likely to get into accidents than young riders in other states.

One reason for that may be that the courses generally award graduates with a full license, whereas in other states there exists a longer period of time where a motorcyclist has only a learner's permit.

It is vital that motorcyclists learn to ride their bikes properly. We know that cars do not always see or respect motorcyclists on the road and knowing how to handle your bike may protect you to a certain extent around negligent drivers. After an accident, negligent parties can be held accountable for medical and other expenses with a personal injury claim. However, it is of course best to avoid getting in a motorcycle accident in the first place.

Source: The Republic, "Motorcycle crash risk drops sharply after first month on the road," Michael Virtanen, April 15, 2012

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