Motorcycle fatalities have now surpassed pedestrian fatalities for the first time since NHTSA collected nationwide data, and the age group with the highest number of deaths are riders age 45 and older. Proper understanding of safety practices for motorcycles is essential for everyone, but particularly for older riders who may be returning to motorcycle riding or for those who are novice riders. A motorcyclist should attend a rider training course to learn how to safely operate his/her vehicle and to obtain the required license to operate a motorcycle in Iowa. Other drivers should allow a motorcycle a full-lane width and signal their intentions to avoid a motorcycle being in their blind spot. Allow a longer following distance from a motorcycle than with other vehicles. Motorcycle drivers should follow the rules of the road, be alert to other drivers, and wear protective gear.
The following are several resources on motorcycle safety information and rider training.
- The Iowa DOT's Web site on Iowa Motorcycle Rider Education answers several questions on rider education. To view the information click here, or visit http://www.iowadot.gov/mre/.
- To view the Iowa Motorcycle Operator Manual click here or visit http://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/ods/mcmanual.pdf.
- The Iowa DOT's Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month Web site provides brochures and publications on motorcycle safety, motorcycle crash statistics, and information on programs and events. To learn more, click here or visit http://www.iowadot.gov/MVD/ODS/motorcycle.
- ABATE of Iowa - A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education provides ongoing rider education and "Share the Road" safety programs. To learn more click here or visit http://www.abateiowa.org/.
- The Iowa Motorcycle Safety Network is FREE and provides members with safety news, Iowa Motorcycle Safety Forum announcements and events. Click here for more information or visit http://www.ucs.iastate.edu/mnet/motorcycle/level5.html.
- The Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) Iowa District Web page provides information on rider education and safety. Click here for more information or visit: http://www.gwrra-iowa.us/.
- Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) provides basic rider courses nationwide. Information on training sites throughout Iowa can be found by clicking here or visit http://nm.msf-usa.org/msf/ridercourses.aspx?state=IA .
- The MSF also has a "Seasoned Rider" Curricula focused on older motorcyclists. To learn more click here or visit MSF's Web site at http://msf-usa.org.