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While every motorist has to take a driver’s exam before they’re given their California motorcycle license, few motorcyclists take an in-depth classroom-style course before getting those licenses. Research suggests that if they did, there would be far fewer motorcycle accidents in Los Angeles and other parts of the state.

The skills that motorcyclists learn in these classes have the potential of greatly reducing reckless driving that causes catastrophic accidents. That’s because these classes cover topics that both new and veteran motorcyclists could all benefit from learning. Few take these classes out of personal interest. Instead, many are ordered to do so by a judge after a serious traffic infraction or crash has occurred.

Some of the information covered in these motorcycle safety classes has to do with a motorcyclist becoming familiarized with their bike. This includes learning what the different controls are for, why it’s important to maintain good posture, how to mount and dismount the bike and how to perform a pre-ride inspection.

Motorcyclists also learn how to effectively use their throttle and brakes to operate and stop their bike in a more precise fashion. This is important information to learn, especially since many motorcyclists aren’t aware of how long it takes to bring their bike to a complete stop, especially on curves.

Los Angeles bikers who take these classes learn how to maneuver their bikes at low speeds, in limited spaces such as when making turns and also when navigating curves. They’re also taught how large of a gap that there needs to before they attempt to switch lanes.

While it’s possible for a motorcyclist to read books and online resources to learn or refresh their memory about much of this information, nothing replaces getting to practice these drills under the watchful eye of a trainer in an interactive safety class.

There are all kinds of causes for a motorcycle accident — but you can take steps to reduce the risk you face on the road, and education is one of those steps.