Whether you ride, or not, taking a motorcycle safety course can help you become a better driver.

You're probably asking yourself how a motorcycle safety course can make you a better driver. Well, it's simple, it makes you much more aware than you ever thought you could be behind the wheel of a car.

While motorcycle safety courses are designed to help the rider learn important skills needed on the road, you'll find there's so much more that you'll absorb.

For example, after taking one, I became more aware of dangers on the road while utilizing more of my peripheral vision. I learned to "look ahead" instead of what's right in front of me. That, in itself, is something I thought I always did but found out I didn't.

Most importantly, I learned to view the road from the rider's perspective at all times. That is incredibly valuable behind the wheel. There are so many essential skills you learn from motorcycle safety courses that aren't even taught in driver's ed.

If you're following a motorcycle, do you know a safe distance to maintain? Do you know how that bike will brake in emergency situations? Do you know how motorcycles swerve or the practice of cornering? Knowing all of that can help you prevent from getting into an accident, even when behind the wheel of a vehicle.

But, back to the original point - taking a motorcycle safety course just makes you more aware of the road that you share with others. I'll admit, behind a wheel, I had a tendency to become too comfortable while not really paying as much attention as I should. That luxury is not afforded to those on two wheels, yet the road is for ALL of us to share - bikes and cars.

Finally, a motorcycle safety course helps you become a better rider and, like defensive driving, can help you lower your insurance premiums.

Why am I writing about this today?

Well, first off, I'd love to see more people become educated on motorcycles. Once you are, you'll appreciate riders more and will likely become a rider, yourself. Trust me, there's nothing more liberating than putting your "knees to the breeze".

However, the primary reason is because I was riding my bike last week, on a highway, and this idiot about killed me because he wasn't paying attention to his surroundings.

I was cruising in the outside lane while this truck attempted a crossover from a perpendicular road. Instead of turning into the nearest lane, which would have been the inside lane, he turned into my lane and he did it about 30 feet in front of me. Luckily, I was aware of the vehicle and able to avoid hitting him broadside.

However, my only option was to veer off the highway on to the shoulder. Thankfully, I didn't have other obstacles, on the shoulder, to avoid. This could have all been avoided had the driver been more aware of his surroundings, but thankfully I was aware and I owe that to the motorcycle safety course I took.

Look Twice, Save a Life.

If you're interested in taking a motorcycle safety course, Abilene Safety Instruction offers them most weekends. That's actually the place I took my course and can attest to the fact that they are some of most highly trained instructors in the entire nation. Also, by taking this course, you won't have to take the rider's test, at the DMV, prior to getting your license.

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Speaking of motorcycles, I will be embarking on The Ride for Change, beginning September 14th. The trek is about 2,200 miles and will stop off in 11 different cities in Texas (and Oklahoma) while raising awareness and funds for minority scholarships we are setting up in each market.