Texas law requires first-time applicants for a motorcycle license to complete a basic 15-hour safety class, which combines classroom and hands-on training over the course of two or three days. About 200 training centers in Texas offer basic courses, along with intermediate, advanced, and specialized training. Whether you’re new to riding or you’re a seasoned motorcyclist, check out these reasons for taking a safety course:
- Try Before You Buy
The idea of riding a motorcycle may be appealing, but actually riding one is an entirely different experience. Basic safety courses provide loaner motorcycles for beginners, so you can figure out whether you like riding one before you buy one.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation also offers an online basic motorcycle education course that covers topics such as types of motorcycles, operation, the risks of riding, riding tips, and emergency procedures.
- Training for Other Vehicles
Many people think of ATVs as being recreational vehicles that are easy to drive. But they’re still powerful machines that can cause injuries. ATVs handle differently than motorcycles or cars, and rollovers frequently occur when a driver overcorrects while steering. Safety courses teach riders how to operate ATVs in a way that minimizes the risk of rollovers.
- Insurance Discounts
Allstate, Geico, and Progressive are among the insurers that offer policy discounts for riders who have completed a voluntary safety course.
- Ticket Dismissals
If you receive a ticket for a moving violation, the court may require you to take a defensive driving course. An approved motorcycle safety course fulfills that requirement and results in dismissal of the ticket.
- Motorcycle Laws Refresher
Is lane-splitting legal? Do you have to wear a helmet? Laws change frequently, so taking a safety course can help ensure you’re up-to-date on the latest motorcycle laws while you brush-up on your riding skills.
- Advanced Skills Development
Planning a summer motorcycle ride through Texas Hill Country or along California’s U.S. Highway 101? An advanced-level safety course can help you refine skills like cornering and throttle control, which are essential for navigating hilly, winding terrain.
- Setting a Good Example
Children learn a lot of their behaviors from their parents, which is why safety experts warn parents not to text while driving. If you’re a motorcycle owner and have a child who aspires to be one, too, set a good example by taking a safety course. If your child is old enough, you may be able to take a basic safety course together.
- Reversing Bad Habits
Drivers of motorcycles and other vehicles sometimes develop bad habits over time without really recognizing the risks those habits create. Speeding, inattention, and following too closely are behaviors most drivers have engaged in occasionally. A safety course taught by a professional instructor is a good reminder of proper driving behavior and riding etiquette.
Safety courses cost money, which may be one reason why some people don’t pursue intermediate and advanced training. But if those courses reduce your insurance premiums and help you avoid motorcycle accidents and injuries, they’re well worth the investment.