During Women’s History Month the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) Motorcycle Safety Program (GMSP) recognizes that women are the fastest growing demographic of motorcyclists. In the past, the assumption was for women to be passengers on motorcycles; but from 1990 to 2019 the percentage of female motorcycle owners has increased from just 6% to 19% - and that number continues to grow.

DDS Commissioner Spencer R. Moore says, “DDS knows firsthand that women make excellent riders. Many GMSP managers, trainers and other DDS Team Members enjoy the open roads. Studies show that 60% of women are professionally trained compared to only 40% of men making women safer with better control of their motorcycle.”

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation approved Basic RiderCourse (BRC) is an excellent starting point for anyone who is interested in transitioning from being a passenger to an active rider. Certified RiderCoaches offer a combination of classroom training, alongside course training, and practice motorcycles are provided. For experienced motorcyclists who are passionate about safety, there is the Advanced RiderCourse (ARC) and the option to become a certified RiderCoach (RC).

According to Motorcycle Industry Council data, men represent most motorcycle driver fatalities, yet 91% of passengers killed on motorcycles are women. In contrast, women represent only 4% of driver fatalities. Though these statistics may be alarming, they alert motorcyclists to an important message; “Women are overwhelmingly underrepresented in fatality data when driving their own motorcycle; yet vastly overrepresented in passenger deaths,” states GMSP Program Manager Holly Hegyesi, “Being properly trained and licensed so that you can confidently ride your own vehicle could ultimately save your life. Skills are perishable, so ongoing training is essential to reduce risk.”

RiderCoach and Field Supervisor Michele Owen explains that women generally excel in MSF courses, “As a rider that learned from a male family member at a young age and took a class later in life, I can say formal training is a better way to start your motorcycling adventure. Riding a motorcycle is fun, exciting and while there is some risk related to riding, taking a course is one step in learning how to manage the risk. As a woman rider and a coach, I encourage all women that have an interest in riding to consider enrolling in a course to find out if riding a motorcycle is right for you. Motorcycling is not just for men!”

Women who are interested in rider training can register for a course on the DDS website at dds.georgia.gov or Register Now! on the Motorcycle Safety Program site.