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motorcycle safetyMay is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, a month intended to encourage all drivers and motorcyclists to share the road responsibly.

According to the US Department of Transportation and the NHTSA, there were 4,594 motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes, down from 4,692 in 2013. However, in 2015, the number of fatalities increased to 5029, and fatalities in 2016 increased again to 5286.  The trend has taken a disappointing upturn in recent years.

Safe riding practices and cooperation from all road users is more important than ever to again begin to reduce the number of motorcyclists’ fatalities on U.S. highways. Motorcyclists face unique safety challenges including relative size and visibility, and motorists need to be aware of motorcycle riding practices like downshifting and weaving in order to anticipate and respond to them.

The following safety tips, among others, will hopefully bring about a safer year on the road for all.

Don’t forget the helmet

While motorcycle helmets are not required by law in all stated, they are certainly the most important piece of safety equipment that a rider can use to protect against a critical head injury. Helmets should always be approved by the Department of Transportation and should include a face shield.  Without a face shield, a rider should wear protective eyewear instead.  These items help reduce wind noise and protect from flying debris.

Wear protective gear

Reflective clothing makes a rider more visible, especially after dark.  Leather clothing, including pants and jackets in addition to gloves and boots, Leather goes a long way to help protect motorcycle riders in case of an accident. Leather jackets, gloves, pants and boots will help to minimize injuries – from road scrapes to serious injuries. 

Maintain your bike

Just as important as safe riding skills is the proper maintenance of your motorcycle. Make it a practice to check your bike’s tires for air and assure that the lights are in good working condition and mirrors are set before riding. It’s just as important to periodically check the brake fluid, test out the clutch and throttle and controls.

Complete a Safety Course

Taking a formal motorcycle safety course is important to learn the basics of operating a motorcycle as well as to sharpen even a seasoned rider’s riding skills. Not only will such reputable safety courses help a rider to make  the best judgments when riding, such certification could offer a discount on motorcycle insurance, depending on the circumstances.  

Motorcycle Insurance Tip

Before you take to the road, you will also want to be sure that you and your bike are properly and completely insured just in case an accident or other damage occurs.  It’s best to sit down with your insurance agent to explore the motorcycle insurance options you have and determine exactly what coverage is best for your own needs. 

Here at our Laurel, MD agency, our highly experienced Community Insurance Services of Maryland agents are always glad to speak with you about any insurance needs. Before you set out on your next ride, why not contact us to be sure you have optimum motorcycle insurance coverage, get a no-obligation policy review or discuss your options?

Monday, 07 May 2018 14:26

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