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Motorcycling is an enjoyable sport and popular method of transportation.

Unfortunately, motorcycling is also a dangerous activity. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclist deaths account for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities – despite motorcycles only representing three percent of all vehicles on the roads.

There are simple things motorcyclists can do to statistically reduce their chances of being involved in a serious accident. Let’s review some motorcycle safety tips for riders:

  • Watch your speed: Speed played a role in 51 percent of motorcycle accidents resulting in fatalities, and 30 percent of accidents resulting in serious injuries in Washington. Obeying the speed limit can go a long way in ensuring a safe trip.
  • Wear a helmet: It may sound obvious, but wearing a helmet is an extremely important for motorcycle safety. Wearing a helmet is important whether your trip is short or long – an accident can happen on any length of a trip. According to the NHTSA, helmets are approximately 37 percent effective in preventing fatalities in motorcycle accidents.
  • Avoid riding in inclement weather: Before heading out, be sure to check the forecast. Weather conditions like rain, snow, and high winds can make for extremely dangerous riding conditions.
  • Be seen: Many motorcycle accidents are caused by motorists who “just didn’t see” the motorcyclist. To maintain maximum visibility while riding, consider wearing bright colored clothing and using reflective tape to your clothing or bike. While riding, varying your speed can help ensure that you don’t get stuck in a vehicle’s blind spot.
  • Maintain your bike: Take steps to ensure that your motorcycle is roadworthy. Make sure your tires are properly inflated, your brakes are in good condition, and change the oil on your bike regularly.

These commonsense tips can help you stay safe while riding – and have an enjoyable riding season.