Hey everyone, this is Ax, founder and president of Be Crash Free (www.BeCrashFree.com) where our mission is to inspire and empower the motorcycle riders of America to prevent and survive crashes.
So just what IS Be Crash Free?
Be Crash Free is a web-based motorcycle rider membership program. To be eligible for
membership, riders make “the Pledge” – a pledge to Ride Legal, Ride Sober, Ride Protected, Ride Skilled, and Ride Informed. The pledge is to themselves, for themselves. Members receive a membership card, a sew-on patch, and a reflective helmet sticker. Every month, members will get a riding tip as well as a reminder of the pledge they have made. In addition, members get discounts from a variety of partner companies.
Be Crash Free is based on a philosophy represented by 3 main principles:
Be Crash Free is committed to supporting riders in being ready for—and performing well in—those moments of truth.
I have been in the motorcycle safety and rider training business for over 25 years and I believe in the value of training. Having said that, licensing and training are great, but then what happens? Taking a class or earning a motorcycle endorsement is like going to the gym for a day or a week or taking a healthy cooking class. It IS good for you, but unless choices, behavior, and values change as a result, there will be no lasting benefit. Be Crash Free was created to support riders over time, on a regular basis, to achieve that lasting benefit: preventing and surviving crashes.
"The Pledge” is the gateway to membership. No one has to make the pledge, but Be Crash Free membership is for those who choose to do so. Once they make the pledge, riders are eligible to join. The pledge is personal. It is made by a rider for themselves and their friends and loved ones. Be Crash Free is not monitoring riders to catch them “violating” their pledge. Putting Be Crash Free in the position of “the authority” would give riders something to resist and rebel against (you know how we like to do that…). Making the pledge completely voluntary, for the rider to choose to live up to or not, puts them in a position where they are more likely to internalize the choices and behaviors as theirs (and not as rules imposed by others).
It's one thing to make a pledge to yourself—like a New Year's Resolution, for example. But to hold to that pledge over time is something else entirely. This is where we, as humans, need support to be successful. Be Crash Free provides this support—something many experts call “structural support for a behavioral challenge.” The Be Crash Free patch and helmet sticker are designed to be on a member’s riding gear. The membership card has a summary of the pledge on the back. Members also receive a hard copy of the full pledge as part of their membership kit. These items provide physical and visual cues; in the right place at the right time. Like when we put a note on the fridge that says “eat more vegetables” or put our workout clothes where we will see them first thing in the morning.
Every month, Be Crash Free produces a motorcycle riding tip for members. These tips will include riding psychology and attitude, specific items to consider or be on the lookout for when riding, riding skills and strategies, motorcycle handling dynamics, and more. This will typically be a video, but may also be an audio file or article. New riding tips will be announced to members via email. That email will also include a reminder of the pledge they made to themselves—encouraging them to assess their own success in living up to their pledge.
Once a rider has become a member, they have access to the members only section of the website. This is where we host the monthly riding tips (members have access to the current month’s tip as well as all prior tips). There is also an introductory section with a few video messages, a section for member discounts and how to use those discounts, and a section for bonus materials, where we will house longer videos, interviews with experts in the field, and other resources for riders.
In addition to the personal pledge riders make, the physical and visual reminders of that pledge, and the monthly riding tips we provide to our members, Be Crash Free is committed to securing financial incentives for riders to become and remain members. Membership is $27/year and it is the goal of Be Crash Free to deliver value well in excess of this amount. This is where our network of partner companies comes in. Members receive discounts on motorcycle related products and services. It is our belief that riders who self-select as members and voluntarily make the pledge constitute a lower risk pool for insurers and motorcycle insurance companies will recognize this lower risk with lower premiums.
Partner companies who provide member discounts will have their logos and links featured on the Be Crash Free website (both the public side and in the members-only area). Partner companies will also be posted on the Be Crash Free Facebook fan page and all new partners will be announced in the monthly email to members.
We believe that this initiative will foster and promote a riding culture in the United States supporting choices that help riders prevent and survive crashes.
I didn’t get into teaching 25 years ago to help riders get their endorsement; I got into teaching to help riders prevent and survive crashes, and that continues to be my mission.
Ride well, and Be Crash Free.