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Motorcyclist safety in summertime

Motorcyclists often anxiously await the days when the weather is warm enough to hit the road -- but those days also bring out vacationers, teen drivers and construction -- all of which can be hazardous to a motorcyclist's health.

What can you do to stay safer on the road this summer if you're on your motorcycle -- especially if it's a new bike or you're out of practice?

1. Eliminate your two biggest risk factors. Speeding accounts for about 48 percent of fatal accidents. Alcohol was a contributing factor in about 42 percent of those accidents. Stay sober and stay withing the speed limit and you significantly reduce your odds of being killed on the road.

2. Buy antilock brakes. They're worth the extra investment because they reduce your odds of being in a fatal crash by 37 percent. Antilock brakes can make it possible to retain control of your bike if you have to make an emergency stop -- reducing the risk that you'll skid out and crash.

3. Wear the helmet. Whether your state law requires you to wear a helmet or not, it's a critical piece of personal safety gear. It's important to buy a helmet that's fitted for your head -- don't borrow someone else's ill-fitting one. A properly fitted, high-quality helmet may be expensive, but it reduces your risk of a fatal head injury by 40 percent. Look for a helmet that has a full face guard and a Department of Transportation sticker of approval.

4. Assume you're invisible. This may be the single most important piece of advice to keep in mind if you're on the road with another vehicle because when cars and motorcycles collide, the motorcyclist is bound to be the loser. Studies have shown, however, that car drivers are responsible for about 60 percent of all accidents -- which means that you should assume that you aren't seen unless you make eye contact with the driver. Stay back from cars on the road and don't pass one unless you absolutely must.

If you are injured on the road due to either a faulty brake system, a bad helmet or an inattentive driver, talk to a motorcycle accident attorney today. Their unique experience with motorcycle accident claims can help you recover fair compensation.

Source: esurance, "dangers of summer driving," accessed May 15, 2017

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