I have been riding nonstop since 1982 in Fla. and all across the country. I know a lot of people, including me, crash a lot in that first year or so on the street. Here are my top ten strategies to live thru the steep early learning curve;
10. Ride more not less. Ride to work, store, vacation, everywhere, nothing is a substitute for hours on the bike.
9. Increase visibility. Reds, blues and blacks are not eyecatching, off-yellows are.
8. Increase the visible cross-section of the bike. Studies show drivers have a hard time picking out small bikes from the background visible field of view. Turn signals as running lights, moving around inside your own lane, etc.
7. Intersections, slow down, not speed up or maintain speed, this is where most accidents occur.
6. Start stopping the bike the moment when the cagers start screwing up. They will do the rolling stops, lane changes, turn into you-s etc, start STOPPING at first sign of screw up (checking rearview mirror as well).
5. Travel about 5-10mph only over the prevailing speed of traffic. It keeps you in the danger zone, around each cager, for less time without surprising them by blowing by at mach 3.
4. Race on the TRACK.
3. Don't ride with folks that want to turn every ride into a RACE.
2. Learn to ride at all time with your right hand in a claw, two fingers always covering the brake lever. It increases your reaction time by a half second or more. Pretend you don't even have a rear brake connected.
1. SLOW the f*** down, see number 4, RACE on the track.
PEACE, and remember if you do crash make like a ragggedy ann doll, the muscles tightening up around the bones cause them to snap.