Motorcyclists: think safety first

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The following story is true:

An Airman riding a motorcycle attempted a high-speed pass, lost control, struck a roadway median and was thrown off. The Airman struck a tree and suffered fatal injuries. He was an inexperienced motorcycle operator with less than two months total riding experience.

Although there were other factors surrounding this crash, one of the primary causes was lack of training. The lack of knowledge led to poor decision making, which in turn led to loss of control of the motorcycle. The accident was fatal. This Airman may still be alive today if he had taken the motorcycle safety course and applied the lessons learned while operating his motorcycle.

Statistics show you are more likely to suffer fatal injuries while riding a motorcycle, specifically a sport bike. Whether you ride a sport bike, a cruiser or something in between, the Air Force requires you to take a motorcycle safety course prior to operating a motorcycle and for good reason! Along with the appropriate training, all rider are required to wear the necessary protective equipment such as a U.S. Department of Transportation-approved helmet, long sleeves, long pants, sturdy footwear, gloves and a brightly colored upper outer garment during the day.

If you would like to sign up for a motorcycle safety course, please contact your local wing safety office.