Most non-riders think motorcycle safety is wearing a helmet. Riders know there is a lot more to it, and the smart ones put time and effort into learning how to handle their bikes, always practicing and preparing for what they might meet on the road because they want to avoid accidents, not survive one.
The best protection you have is what’s in your head. Habits carried over from driving a car can be deadly. Something as simple as a panic stop can quickly turn a brief encounter into a nasty accident. Ever see those big cruiser motorcycles with brake pedals that look like they should be in a Chevy pickup? Some riders just mash that pedal when they have to stop fast. Of course, that just locks up the rear wheel, and you slam right into that car backing out of the driveway. Motorcycle safety training can help break those habits.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has been offering rider training since 1974. They are the national resource for rider training courses throughout the country. Every state has it’s own course, state laws differ, however, riding skills are universal. Here in Pennsylvania we have the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program. In many, if not most, state courses, successful completion of the basic course results in a motorcycle driver’s license with an extra certification added to your regular license. I took one of these courses many years ago and it wasn’t bad.
Experienced riders may be interested in a more advanced course. The basic course assumes no riding experience, while the advanced course can teach every rider, including the old veterans, stuff they just never picked up. Even professional roadracers hone their skills with coaches to point out bad habits, the rest of us might want to follow their example.