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Keeping yourself safe during prime motorcycle season

Although some hardcore enthusiasts may continue driving motorcycles during the frigid winter months, most people ride motorcycles during the warmer months of the year. Late spring and summer are the perfect time to go out for a cruise to enjoy the open road. Unfortunately, you may not be the only person out there for a pleasure cruise, and inattentive drivers are a serious source of risk to motorcyclists.

With smart phones and constant connectivity via texting, people, in general, are very distracted at the wheel these days. It can be all too easy for someone in a large vehicle to overlook your presence when he or she reaches an intersection, turns or merges into another lane of traffic. For someone on a motorcycle, that kind of incident could result in severe injuries or worse. Thankfully, there are certain steps you can take to reduce your risk of a crash or collision on your bike.

Follow safety best practices every single time you ride

Part of what people enjoy about motorcycles is the thrill of the open vehicle, the air in your face and the potential for driving in a way you can't in a larger vehicle. However, safety should always be your first concern when you're on your motorcycle.

You should never drink and drive. According to statistics from the state of New Jersey, 27 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes in 2016 involve motorcycle riders with alcohol in their bloodstreams. Another 24 percent of fatal crashes that year involved motorcycles traveling at an unsafe speed.

Choosing to reduce your risk by engaging in safe driving practices, such as not drinking before hitting the road and not exceeding the speed limit, can reduce your chance of causing a crash. However, you could still experience risk caused by the bad decisions or negligence of other drivers. Take steps to protect yourself in the event of a crash

Since you can't control the actions of other people on the road, you should take steps to mitigate the risk they pose to your safety. One of the best decisions you can make is to invest in excellent safety gear, including riding outerwear that prevents road rash and a Department of Transportation approved helmet. These items of gear can reduce the risk of severe and life-endangering injuries if you do end up in a crash caused by another driver.

You should also make sure that you have adequate insurance. Too many people only insure their bikes when obtaining a motorcycle insurance policy. Opting for riders that protect you from uninsured drivers and that cover medical care in the event of a crash can make a big difference if you wind up severely hurt in a crash.

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