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Staying safe while you drive a motorcycle is not the same as trying to stay safe while driving a car, truck or other enclosed automobile. There are a whole new set of rules and risks that need to be considered when you practice motorcycle safety.

1. Conduct a safety check before you ride: Don’t take for granted that your bike is in perfect working order. Check to make sure your front and back lights are working and responsive (in the case of directionals and brake lights), check your tires for pressure, tread and puncture issues, make sure none of your spokes are bent or missing, look for fraying cables, leaks or cracks in hoses and broken or bent pedals. Finally, make sure your throttle is working properly.

2. Wear a helmet and eye protection: Many states don’t have helmet laws, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually safe to tool around on your bike without a helmet. Helmets are vital in preventing fatal head injuries and the one you choose needs to have a sticker that shows it meets impact standards set by the Department of Transportation. Since motorcycle windshields do little to protect your eyes from dirt and debris, make sure your helmet provides eye protection or that you choose goggles. To find out if your state requires helmets, check out this link:

3. Avoid speeding: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2008 that speeding was involved in 35 percent of all fatal motorcycle crashes. Speeding is a really easy thing to avoid—and doing so just might save your life. Also watch the side of the street for signs that indicate a reduction in speed limit, since that often indicates an area you really need to be careful in.

4. Invest in antilock brakes: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported in 2010 that motorcycles fitted with antilock brakes had a 37 percent less chance of being involved in a fatal crash than those without.

Remember, for the most part, motorcycle safety is perfectly controllable. While you may not be able to predict the action of other drivers on the roads, you can control your own and keep your bike in good working order.
Posted 10:53 AM

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