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Erie Insurance national motorcycle survey reveals riders' top 5 pet peeves; aggressive reckless riders top the list

  Survey also finds riders doing some weird and crazy things on bikes

ERIE, Pa., July 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- For many motorcycle riders, nothing beats the thrill of maneuvering a powerful steel and chrome machine—hand on the throttle, wind in the face and curves of the pavement ahead. But motorcycling has some downsides, according to a national survey commissioned by Erie Insurance and conducted by Harris Poll.

The online survey, conducted in June, asked nearly 200 U.S. motorcycle riders to share their top five pet peeves about both other riders and drivers of four-wheel vehicles, as well as the most common rookie rider mistakes. It also asked riders to fess up to the craziest, weirdest or most reckless thing they'd ever done while riding, or seen others do. Needless to say, that question yielded some quirky results. Top line survey results are summarized below and shown in this infographic.

"Motorcycle riding can be incredibly fun and invigorating but our survey results show that riders really need keep their guard up at all times because there are a lot of hazards out there," said Cody Cook, vice president and product manager at Erie Insurance. "It also shows how important it is to have the right motorcycle insurance to protect both themselves and their bikes. More than one in 10 riders (11%) admitted to not having any motorcycle insurance.

Riders' Top 5 Pet Peeves about Other Riders

Pet Peeve

Percent of riders who list this as a top 5 pet peeve

1. Riders who drive aggressively or recklessly (i.e., speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, doing wheelies, etc.)


2. Riders who pass on the shoulder


3. Riders who engage in "lane splitting" (riding in between lanes of stopped traffic)


4. Riders who don't wear protective gear (i.e., riders who wear things like shorts, sandals, tank tops, etc.)


5. Riders who don't wear helmets



Riders' Top 5 Pet Peeves about Vehicle Drivers (cars, trucks, SUVs, etc.)

Pet Peeve

Percent of riders who list this is a top 5 pet peeve

1. Drivers who don't check their blind spots before changing lanes


2. Drivers who text while driving


3. Aggressive or reckless drivers (i.e., speeding, weaving in and out of traffic)


4. Drivers who tailgate


5. Drivers who don't use signals when turning or changing lanes



Riders' view of Top 5 Rookie Rider Mistakes


Percent of riders who think new riders make this mistake

1. Assuming other drivers can see them


2. Wanting to show off or impress others


3. Buying a bike that's more powerful than they can handle


4. Not taking a riding or safety course (TIE)


4. Riding on high traffic roads too soon before they're comfortable maneuvering their bike (TIE)


5. Failure to check blind spots


As for the weird, crazy or reckless things riders said they've done or seen others do:

  • Several riders said they had stood on the seat with their hands in the air while speeding down the highway, or had seen others doing it
  • A couple of riders reported seeing others texting while riding. One said the texter was leaning onto his backseat and steering with his feet.
  • One rider saw an amorous couple riding their bike in a compromising position.
  • One rider said he cruised up behind a woman who had her bare feet sticking out the passenger seat window of a car and tickled her feet. He said "She freaked...then burst out laughing."

About the survey

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Erie Insurance from June 19-23, & June 25-29, 2015 among 192 motorcycle riders. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Leah Knapp at

About Erie Insurance
According to A.M. Best Company, Erie Insurance Group, based in Erie, Pennsylvania, is the 11th largest homeowners insurer and 12th largest automobile insurer in the United States based on direct premiums written and the 16th largest property/casualty insurer in the United States based on total lines net premium written. The Group, rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best Company, has more than 5 million policies in force and operates in 12 states and the District of Columbia. Erie Insurance Group is a FORTUNE 500 and Barron's 500 company. Erie Insurance is proud to have received the J.D. Power award for "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with the Auto Insurance Purchase Experience" two years in a row. ERIE has also been recognized by Forbes as one of America's 50 Most Trustworthy Financial Companies and is on the list of Ward's 50 Group of top performing insurance companies, which analyzes the financial performance of 3,000 property and casualty companies and recognizes the top performers for achieving outstanding results in safety, consistency and financial performance over a five-year period (2009-2013).

News releases and more information about Erie Insurance Group are available at