Look Before a Left, the Right Way
Most motorcycle-vehicle crashes happen when a driver turns left in front of the rider. Drivers often don’t see the rider, or if they do, they misjudge the rider’s speed or distance. Motorcycles can move fast and are often hard to spot. When turning left, especially at intersections, always double-check the cross traffic.
Share the Road
It’s true that a motorcycle takes up less space in the lane. But remember, whether passing a motorcycle or following one in your lane, the rider requires the same amount of reaction time you do. Give a motorcycle the same space you’d give any other vehicle. Don’t tailgate—give motorcycles afour-second following distance.
Avoid Riders in Your Blind Spot
Motorcycles present a narrow profile, and they can wind up in your blind spot in a hurry. Being aware of your surroundings—and all the vehicles around you—will improve safety for everyone on the road.
Did you know that riders with training crash less often and survive more often (when they do crash) than untrained riders? And they fared better than riders that were trained by a friend or relative. Everyone (not just those under the age of 18) is required to take The Course for Motorcycle Riders to qualify for a motorcycle driver’s license.
The Basic RiderCourse
The Basic RiderCourse is for new or inexperienced riders, and all riders wanting to improve their skills and have more fun riding. During the course you’ll learn how to gear up for safety and you’ll practice maneuvering strategies for getting out of dangerous situations and avoiding them in the first place.
The Experienced RiderCourse
Aimed at experienced motorcyclists, the Experienced RiderCourse teams you with other riders. Everyone brings their own ride, gear, and experiences to class. You’ll learn advanced techniques for avoiding and surviving dangerous conditions, including high-speed maneuvering, traction control, and emergency braking.
Sign up for the course
To find a course near you:
- Call 1-800-292-5787, or
- Contact Us through the form on this site, or
- Email DPS/MSU directly, or
- Browse the list of course locations in Texas, or
- visit the DPS Motorcycle/ATV Safety Unit Training Locations page
Ride with the Right Gear
The right gear can save your life. The #1 thing you can do to improve your odds of avoiding a life-threatening injury is to wear a helmet. In fact, wearing a helmet is required by law in many states, including Texas. Other protective clothing—such as appropriate footwear, gloves, long pants and a brightly colored jacket—can also reduce injuries in the event of a crash.
- Be seen – wear bright-colored clothing, have your headlights on during the daytime, and signal your intentions
- Actively scan
- Take The Course and practice and apply what you learn
- Ride smart, not impaired
- Take the time to conduct a safety check before each ride