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Easy Rider: What You Need to Know About Motorcycle Safety

Motorcycle.

There’s nothing like the first warm day of spring. The sky is blue. The sun is shining and you can smell the fresh air. The time has finally come: you're gassing up the motorcycle and hitting the open road.

Motorcycle culture has a long history and tradition in America. A motorcycle isn’t just a means of transportation; for some people, it’s a lifestyle and cultural identity.

In order to enjoy the ride, you have to arrive safely. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that there were 4,586 motorcycle-related deaths in 2014. If you want to ride easy, it’s important to take the necessary safety precautions.

Be Seen, Be Safe

Protective gear and increased visibility are two effective ways to help maximize your safety on a motorcycle. According to the CDC, helmets saved an estimated 1,630 lives in 2013. Statistics indicate that helmets reduce the risk of death by 37%, and reduce the risk of head injury by 69%. Wearing a helmet is only the beginning. A good pair of gloves, heavy pants, and durable boots will not only shield you from wind, rain, and other inclement weather conditions, but could also help protect you if you were knocked off your bike or fell onto the pavement. Good comfortable, protective gear could be of great help if there's an accident, too.

While protective gear helps provide a certain level of protection, you also need to be seen by the drivers in other vehicles. Wearing black, for example, may make it difficult for you to be seen by other motorists, especially if you are riding at night. To be seen on the highway, wear bright or reflective colors. Increased visibility is imperative to staying safe on a motorcycle.

A Good Riding Attitude

Be alert, vigilant and follow the rules of road. Don’t tailgate, never drive impaired, and always maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. Caution and awareness is the key to safe riding, especially if you’re riding for the first time.

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ECC Monitor: OK