Wisconsin Motorcycle Simulator Could Save Lives

Pilots use flight simulators before they step into an actual plane, so that they can have the experience of flying in a safe environment. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation attempts to use this philosophy with motorcycle riders. THE REF, Transportable High-End Rider Education Facility, provides motorcycle safety lessons for any interested Wisconsin motorcyclist, new or experienced, and it has been operable since August 2010. According to the Green Bay Press Gazette, Wisconsin officials noted 16 fewer motorcycle accidents in 2011 than reported last year at this point, and they connect the decline with the training that THE REF provides.

THE REF is a converted hauler pulled by a Ford F-450, and the interactive demonstration includes test, demo motorcycles and two motorcycle simulators. The facility will travel to 60 places in Wisconsin to promote motorcycle safety over this year. Though state law does not require bikers over 18 to complete motorcycle training, the Department of Transportation hopes that THE REF will allow motorcyclists to obtain some bike education.

The department estimates that 80 percent of bikers do not have any formal training, and up to 20 percent do not even have motorcycle licenses. Community Service Specialist Ken Heis believes that a lack of training could be a common trait for those involved in motorcycle accidents. The state continues to gather data to track the relationship between a lack of training and motorcycle accidents.

Metier Law Firm, LLC—Denver injury attorney

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