The United States Military have seen a drastic increase in motorcycle crash fatalities amongst their personnel in the last year. In 2008, the U.S. Army saw a 24% increase in motorcycle accident deaths. To try and curb this trend, the military are setting up experimental “Track Day” events to try and help educate motorcycle riders about safety and give riders an area for them to let loose on their bikes and become more comfortable with them.
A Track Day event is a essentially an area on a military base where riders can push the limits of their bike and also have instructors that can give tips and advice that could save their lives. The logic is also that a rider will get more comfortable in a safe and controlled environment and be able to manage their bike better when they are out in the real world.
Safety specialist Mario Diprete says the course lets riders literally test their limits. “Out here is the time to run hot and wide into a turn and feel how uncomfortable it makes you,” he says. “And you learn from it and you don’t do it again — or you learn how to recover from it.”
Instructors stand in the middle of the tarmac, pulling riders over, giving them quick advice and sending them back onto the course. Without guard rails, utility poles, parked cars or curbs on the course, riders have a much better chance of surviving the lesson.
The military is only doing this for a trial period and are keeping a close eye on results. Having a motorcyclist more comfortable with their bike at higher speeds could lead to more risk taking and a bigger increase in motorcycle accidents. Track Day events will be dropped if this is the case.
[ Source: U.S. Military Combats Rising Motorcycle Fatalities ]
[ Image source: http://www.navytimes.com ]