Sadly, Montana saw it's first motorcycle rider fatality of 2021 this last week and it happened right here in Missoula.
With overal highway fatalities on Montana roadways about twice what they were this time last year and with over half of those fatalities are involving an Impaired Driver. I don't know how many involve a distracted driver (i.e., using your cell phone) but as a mortorcyclist myself, it's scary to share the road with people who are using their phones. I see it at every stoplight and I'm sure you can too. #IDontDUIT
For my fellow motorcyclist, let me introduce you to Aubrey Godbey, she's a new rider and wanted to share some riding tips with us all. It doesn't matter how long you have been riding, these tips are important.
4 Riding Tips from A Newbie Rider
1. Practice Makes Perfect
Whether you’ve been riding for ten years or ten minutes, PRACTICE. Always strive to be the motorcycle rider who wants to improve their own skills. You never know when your knowledge or quick response could save your life or someone else’s.
2. Wear the Right Gear
Each time you ride, make sure to wear gear that covers the most amount of skin surface possible. Road rash is real and painful and this is the second best way to avoid it, after being an attentive rider. Also remember to ALWAYS wear your helmet, even if you’re just running around the block. Be a good example for those around you and keep yourself safe.
(From Drive Safe Missoula: Our gear is a kin to seatbelts and airbags. It what we wear that can help improve our chances of surving a crash and redusing injury. #ATGATT - All The Gear All The Time)
3. Lane Position is Everything
Remember when you took the State Motorcycle License test and they made you learn about lane positions? That was for a reason! Don’t let this information slide into the back of your brain to never be accessed again. Lane position allows us to see others, as well as others to see us. Study up and refresh your mind on which lane positions are used for what.
4. Ride Defensively
Even if everything above is taken into consideration, you still need to ride defensively. Your safety is your own responsibility when riding a motorcycle. Motorcycles are small and sometimes hard for other drivers to see, so we need to always be looking for ourselves and for them. Being an attentive rider is the best kind of rider you can be.
Curry Health and Wellness
The Curry Health Center at the University of Montana has been a longtime member of the Missoula County DUI Task Force and Drive Safe Missoula.
As their website indicates: Curry Health Center provides quality, affordable, accessible health care for students at the University of Montana. We promote a healthy campus by treating students with dignity and respect and through collaborating and sharing our expertise with others.