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The second Saturday in October is National Motorcycle Ride Day. This day is designated to get all motorcyclists in the USA out and on their motorcycles for a united day of riding. It’s a great day for communities to connect and enjoy a shared passion. It’s also a great time to review the fundamental tips that can help motorcycle riders and automobile drivers safely share the road together.

Motorcycle crashes remain one of the most prevalent causes of injury and death on the road. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in a collision than those in a motor vehicle. So, while the tips below may seem basic, they are good reminders to help significantly decrease your risk of an accident. When drivers and motorcycle riders work together to maintain awareness and safety, everyone can enjoy the road.

 Safety Reminders for Motorcyclists

•     Helmets save motorcycle riders’ lives. Non-helmeted motorcycle riders are twice as likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries from crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In the event of an accident, motorcycle helmets absorb the impact of a crash on the brain and keep your head safe.

•     Proper protective attire can help keep your injuries minimal if you experience a crash. Wear long pants and long sleeves, even in the summertime. Leather or armored clothing is best. Wear bright colors or reflective materials to be easily visible on the road. Protect your feet and ankles by wearing closed-toed, over-the-ankle shoes or boots.

•     Of course, do not drink and ride. According to the NHTSA, twenty-five percent of motorcycle riders who died in were alcohol-impaired.

•     Be aware of road conditions, climate and traffic patterns.  Maintain a safe speed and exercise caution when riding over slippery surfaces or gravel.  Avoid tailgating and give yourself enough space to safely navigate around dangers.

 Safety Tips for Drivers

• Do not tailgate motorcyclists or follow them too closely. It is important to leave enough room between you and the motorcyclist in front of you. Remember, a motorcyclist’s brake lights might not always be engaged when a motorcycle decelerates.

• Always use your turn signals! It’s especially important to make sure you communicate your intentions so that any nearby motorcycle riders can prepare.

•    Be careful when making a left turn. With any turns, be aware of motorcycles on the road and how fast they are going if you are turning. Left turns can be particularly dangerous due to your blind spots.

•     Always check your blind spots twice before making a lane change. It could save a life.