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Stay safer on your motorcycle with these tips

When you're riding a motorcycle, you assume certain risks, but that doesn't mean you can't reduce your risk of being hurt or killed in an accident. Below are some tips for safer riding.

As you ride, constantly scan the horizon and sides for escape paths and collision traps. Remember that many drivers are oblivious to motorcyclists. It's also important to always ride within your own limits of riding skills and situations. If you've never ridden your motorcycle in certain conditions before, you face a greater risk of a collision.

Your first line of defense should always be a well-constructed helmet that covers your entire face. Light-colored helmets are more visible to others on the road.

Wear brightly-colored clothing for optimum visibility. While leathers provide protection from the elements and road rash, they are not as easily seen as some of the newer riding garb designed to protect you from harm in a crash.

Headlights, taillights and turn signals should all be in working order with no blown bulbs. Reflective strips on the bike itself as well as the rider's clothing can help motorists see you.

Stay out of blind spots of vehicles on the road. If they can't see you, you are in a potentially lethal position should they merge or switch lanes.

When you are able to anticipate a stop, flash your brake lights as you slow down. This helps catch drivers' attention.

Always remain mentally on-task while riding your motorcycle. It's dangerous to daydream while riding.

Despite the great lengths riders go to in order to ensure their safety, accidents can and do occur. If you get hurt, or if a loved one dies in a collision due to another driver's negligence, you may wish to pursue civil litigation.

Source: Motorcycle Safety Foundation, "Quick Tips: General Guidelines For Riding A Motorcycle Safely," accessed Aug. 31, 2016

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