February 2015


According to NHTSA, a comprehensive motorcycle safety program should cover, at a minimum, the following knowledge areas:

Preparing for Operation: Use of DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets and full protective gear for operators and passengers, and pre-ride motorcycle inspection

Observation: Observing roadway and traffic conditions and situations

Surface Conditions: Identifying and responding to potentially unsafe roadway surface conditions

Night Operation: Compensating for reduced vision and visibility at night

Visibility: Maximizing rider and motorcycle visibility to other road users

Visual Search: Scanning the traffic environment and searching for other road users

Lane Positioning and Space Management: Maintaining proper lane positioning to increase visibility to other road users and adequate space between the motorcycle and other road users

Speed Management: Managing speed in various traffic situations and roadway conditions  

Risk and Emergencies: Presentation of risk associated with operating a motorcycle and reacting to emergencies caused by roadway conditions, traffic conditions and vehicle malfunctions

Passenger and Cargo: Carrying passengers and cargo safely

Group Riding: Operating safely alongside other motorcyclists

Operator Factors: Staying in physical condition to operate a motorcycle safely

Alcohol/Drugs: The effects of alcohol and drugs on rider performance

Motorcycle Factors: Keeping a motorcycle in safe operating condition

Individual state licensing requirements