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First 30 days on the road are most dangerous for motorcyclists

It may be a cliché, but experience matters, and that applies to everything from schooling to motorcycle riding. As for the latter, a new study reveals that the first 30 days during which a motorcyclist gets out on the road are often the most dangerous, with a higher incidence of motorcycle accidents.

In general, the first year of motorcycle riding is the most dangerous, and the first month in particular. In fact, during the first 30 days, motorcyclists are four times more likely to be involved in some sort of mishap than during the entire second year of riding.

One study took a look at insurance claims filed between 2003 and 2007. Of the claims involving motorcycle accidents, 22 percent of them were linked to accidents that occurred within 30 days of acquiring insurance coverage.

And while this seems somewhat puzzling, states that require motorcycle training for those under the age of 21 actually had higher crash rates. One possible reason for this, according to an article in the Republic, is that drivers taking such classes may already be licensed, which could potentially shorten a learning period required under a preliminary permit.

Whatever the reason, it seems that the more experience riders get, the safer they are. In the study, the claim rate dropped by a third in the second month of a motorcyclist's experience, and by two-thirds within six months. That's probably not a coincidence and shows that a rider's comfort on the road can lead to safer conditions.

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

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