Everything You Need to Know about North Carolina’s Motorcycle Safety Courses
Riding a motorcycle is fun, but when accidents happen they can be deadly. According to statistics published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in April 2015, the number of motorcycle fatalities is 26 times higher than the number of automobile traffic deaths. The IIHS also points out that more than half of all motorcycle accidents are single-vehicle crashes, and do not involve another vehicle.
Groups like the Motorcycle Safety Board are trying to do something about those grim statistics. Here’s how that group describes its mission:
“To make motorcycling safer and more enjoyable by ensuring access to lifelong quality education and training for current and prospective riders, and by advocating a safer riding environment.”
The Motorcycle Safety Board has developed training programs available nationwide to train motorcyclists to operate a motorcycle safely, in crash avoidance, and to be more aware of the potential dangers of the road.
North Carolina offers its own safety courses for new riders through the North Carolina Motorcycle Safety Education Program. The website provides resources to find classes across the state, as well as class schedules and the types of classes offered.
Benefits of Safety Training
Operating a motorcycle for the first time can be intimidating, and operating a bike in real traffic conditions can be daunting for new riders. A beginner rider course allows inexperienced motorcyclists to learn and train on the basics of operating a motorcycle on the streets, roads and highways of North Carolina.
Did you know the safety course may actually save you money? Many insurance companies offer discounts if a motorcycle safety course is completed. Depending on the insurance carrier, the amount of money saved can be a significant offset to the cost of the course.
In North Carolina, those who are getting their motorcycle license for the first time will be able to waive their DMV test upon completion of the course and passing the test. A DMV waiver card is given to the rider and is valid for up to one year.
Rider training is not just for beginners. Bike Safe North Carolina states that good riders train regularly, and they encourage all motorcyclists to attend a refresher course at least once a year. Skill level advancement is the best way to continue to stay out of harm’s way when operating a motorcycle, and well worth the investment.
Rider Courses Offered
The North Carolina Motorcycle Safety Program offers three courses specifically for motorcyclists:
Basic Rider Course (BRC)
The BRC course is a 20-22 hour course designed for beginner riders who have never ridden a motorcycle, as well as riders who have not ridden for a long while. This physically demanding course requires the ability to push and straddle a 300 pound motorcycle. Even experienced riders who take this course report that they have gained new and important skills.
Experienced Rider Course (ERC)
The ERC course is for anyone who is already an experienced rider. In this course, a rider will learn new skills and techniques to expand their riding abilities, and learn more about the capabilities of their motorcycle. For this course, motorcyclists must bring their own street-legal motorcycle and proof of insurance, and it is recommended that the rider have six months or 3,000 miles experience.
Advanced Rider Course (ARC)
This one-day advanced course teaches the rider more in-depth riding techniques, and offers small classroom discussions on topics such as risk awareness, cornering, swerving, and accident avoidance. This course does not require a skills test.