St. Louis, MO
Posted - 03/03/2011 : 4:05 PM
MSF adds more courses while IIHS says mandatory training results in more crash claims for those under 21
First-the Institute of Insurance Highway Safety's press release that dealt with the conclusions from three separate studies the Institute had found regarding anti-lock brakes, helmets and rider training. It found that ABS brakes and helmets resulted in less collision claims-no surprise there. However, its finding about rider training may surprise those who aren't regular readers of this blog: "The frequency of insurance collision claims for riders younger than 21 is 10 percent higher in states that require riders this age to take a training course before they become eligible for a license to drive a motorcycle, compared with states that don't require training."
This finding supports other studies that examined broader age groups: rider training with Motorcycle Safety Foundation curriculum may lead to greater-not lesser-crash involvement. The IIHS release nor it's newsletter nor the Highway Loss Data Institute Bulletin.
This doesn't mean, IIHS, hastened to say that training isn't needed as the article in the institute's in-house newsletter clarified, "Motorcycling requires unique skills, and training probably is the right way for most riders to learn them," says Adrian Lund, president of both HLDI and the affiliated Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "Just don't count on it to reduce crashes or substitute for laws requiring helmet use."
"Although this difference isn't statistically significant, it contradicts the notion that training courses reduce crashes. A potential explanation is that riders in some states are fully licensed once they finish training. This might shorten the permit period so that riders end up with full licenses earlier than if training weren't mandated."
Iow, just as we've discussed over a series of entries on this blog, MSF training is once again implicated not just in ineffectively preparing riders but putting at least younger ones at greater risk.
Now on to the MSFs press release:
In a press release dated March 31, 2010, Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) President Tim Buche said, "We're presenting a new, and much improved, way forward for all riders and raising what is generally perceived as the minimum threshold of motorcycle riding competence. We want better-prepared riders capable of higher levels of thinking out on the streets."
The press release goes on to explain that a beginning rider needs three courses to do what MSF claimed to motorcycle rights activists, state representatives and state and federal agency officials that one course did in the past-get a rider trained enough to ride in traffic:
"Essential CORESM Curriculum," [is what] the MSF recommends as the minimum training for every beginning rider. The Essential CORE Curriculum includes the current MSF Basic RiderCourseSM, the new Street RiderCourse that takes students into real-world traffic, and the new Basic Bike-BondingSM RiderCourse that features skill drills to help students handle their own motorcycles.
Iow, MSF finally has come around to doing exactly what I've been writing about since 2004 and insisting was needed.
Buche's statement and MSF's tripling of minimum requirements marks an abrupt turnaround of what MSF has claimed for almost 40 years, MSF has claimed that it's basic riding training course was sufficient to train riders to such a degree that they could-and should-get a motorcycle endorsement on their licenses for passing the course. In fact, MSF spent hundreds of thousands of man-hours and dollars to get states to give endorsements to riders upon completion of its basic training program.
Iow, at almost the same moment that IIHS says that young riders who took rider training had more collision claims, MSF says that two more courses are necessary before riders are really ready for the road.
It would appear, then, that MSF agrees with IIHS-the standard training for riders in the USA is not doing what it's supposed to do.
One wonders exactly why MSF extended the Discovery Project one more year than it was supposed to. Did they find out what IIHS did and hope to fix it with more courses and another year to hope to find different results?