Motorcycle accidents continue to claim lives. Safety courses may be the answer.

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) – While the total number of road fatalities increased last year by nearly 18%, motorcycle-related fatalities increased by 32%. and already this year 6 have died.

“What’s really sad is that motorcyclists only make up 3% of the motoring public,” says Scott Alquist, director of a vehicle safety program at Truckee Meadows Community College, “but we support about 20% deaths.”

Motorcycle accidents are, of course, more dangerous because the rider has little protection in the event of an accident, but Alquist says the three main factors are impaired driving, speed and right-of-way violations, the latter often being the result of inattention. This is unlikely to improve as the weather warms and rusty cyclists have locked up for the winter or the pandemic has hit the road.

“They want to go out and have fun. but they have to realize that their driving skills have kind of taken a back seat just because they haven’t used them in the last four, five or six months.

Alquist has been riding for nearly 50 years and speaks from experience. “There is always a learning curve. When you think you know everything you need to know about riding a motorcycle, that’s when you should take a course.

Thus, it helps others to hone their skills dulled by inaction as well as brand new pilots eager to obtain a license and join them. You might remember they had a setback last year when three of their bikes were stolen in the middle of the night. A bicycle was recovered. The insurance covered the loss of the other two.

So the program continues and these statistics show that there is work to be done to make the roads safer for all of us. There are also practical reasons for its popularity. Graduates jump to the front of the line when they go to get a license. “When you go to get licensed, you just take your card to DMV and I think it’s 10 to 12 bucks and they give you your approval,” and they may also get a reduction in their insurance premiums.

Classes start at the end of next month and fill up quickly. You can find more information online at www.tmcc.edu.

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