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4 simple habits that can help you stay safe on a motorcycle

For many bikers, motorcycles aren't just a mode of transportation; they're a way of life. The risks are part of what comes with the territory.

However, whether you're a novice biker or a veteran, it never hurts to have a refresher on how to stay safe on the road. Here are four safety habits you should always observe:

  1. Wear the right gear. A helmet, sturdy footwear, abrasion-resistant leg wear and other gear can go a long way toward protecting you in the event of crash. The right gear can prevent or reduce road rash, brain damage and other injuries.
  2. Watch out for cars turning left. More collisions happen when cars turn left into an oncoming biker than under any other circumstance. Drivers can easily misjudge your speed and distance - or even overlook you entirely. Always slow down and be on the alert when you're approaching a turning vehicle.
  3. Don't speed. Part of the appeal of biking is hitting the open road and letting it rip. However, don't overestimate your ability to remain in control. Speeding is a major contributor to serious or fatal crashes. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately one-third of all motorcycle accidents involve speeding.
  4. Don't drink and ride. While this may seem like a no-brainer, far too many bikers hop on their motorcycles after a few too many drinks - with serious or fatal consequences. If in doubt, don't ride.

You can't eliminate every risk that goes along with biking, but following these tips can go a long way toward preventing accidents or minimizing their toll.

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