Monday, May 18, 2009

First Ambulance call teaching motorcylce classes

Thank goodness for a calm co-instructor and for first aid classes. During Evaluation #3 (quick stop) of the Basic Rider Course I was teaching Saturday, a rider over applied the front brake. The result was a front tire skid with the student head/face making the primary contact with the asphalt. The student rolled onto her back and was very still. She then opened her eyes and realized what had happened. We used gauze and ice packs to control bleeding and swelling as we waited for the medics to arrive. Her husband arrive shortly afterwards and took her to the ER to get checked out and probably some stitches. Before she left, she gave Steve (my fellow instructor) and I big hugs with a warm smile. "I'll be back in a few weeks because I am already registered for another basic class," she declared. She had gotten in as a walk-in for this class.

A couple lessons were learned during the event. The first as indicated by one of the anonymous evaluation comments "full face helmets should be required for these classes." The other riders saw the reality of even a slow speed crash on the face. Had the student been riding with a full face helmet, she would still have had some road rash on her knee, but would not have suffered the cuts, gash, and possible loose teeth .

Of course, in Illinois, riders are free to choose. However, even for short ride 5 blocks away to Starbucks, I "always" don the full face lid. Witnessing this accident during the class only reinforces my choice to be a full face rider all of the time.

I pray for a quick healing for the student and may the rest of her riding be blessed.


Baron's Life said...

Always sad to hear someone went down...even on a course...
So you guys get hugs and kisses for destroying the next generation of riders...Up North here, the school would have been sued for not teaching the right preventative techniques in the classroom prior to letting them loose.

Jeffry said...

Our program in Illinois is a state run program. There are waiver of liability forms that students are also required to fill out at the beginning of the course.

The classroom has two sections on brake, the basics and maximum braking. It is not the easiest skill to become semi proficient in let alone a completely new student to attain. Yet it is a critical portion of the class as successful graduates receive a license waiver that allows them to bypass taking exams (written and riding) and the DMV.

Stacy said...

I'm glad your student is all right and escaped with relatively minor injuries.

On the bright side, perhaps her mishap has turned an entire class of new riders into full-face helmet wearers. Her pain might save a life (or a face) someday.

Lance said...

Jeffry - thanks for this post, which has impressed upon me the importance of a full-face helmet.

bobskoot said...


It happens so fast that it occurs in "slow motion". It happened to me last year, it's easy to grab the front brake too much and I did it on loose gravel.

glad to see her up and walking away on her own power. I kinda like that hugging part

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Sojourner rides said...

I'm glad your student is going to be okay. But I'm confused?

What kind of helmet did she have on? In my class, which was not a state run program, full face helmets are required for this and other reasons. Are people allowed to bring their own helmets? Are people wearing those beanie things? Enlighten me.

Sorry you had to have this experience but a lot of good lesson came out of it.

Jeffry said...

Students may wear their own 3/4 or full face helmets or they may choose to wear either the 3/4 or full face helments that we have. She was wearing an open face. Our program does not allow anything less than a 3/4 helmet. We usually have a person or two per class bringing in the little more than half police style helmet and are dissapointed that they don't get to wear them. However, as we explain the helmets section, most say that they are going shopping for something more substantial.

Danny said...

All it took to convince me that nothing but a full face would ever be on my head was a large rock hitting and breaking the chin section of my modular helmet. All it actually broke was the latch, permanently leaving it closed. But it rocked my head hard. Hate to think what would have happened had I not had it on.