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Veteran motorcycle riders share their safety tips

If you're new to motorcycles, the one thing you can't get instantly is experience. You may also know that experience can help keep you safe on the road.

There's only one way to really put in those hours, but that does not mean you cannot learn from others who have done it. Here are some safety tips from veteran riders:

  1. Do not wear black. Yes, it's the "traditional" color that bikers wear, but it makes you far less visible than red, neon green or even a reflective jacket. Put on something bright so that other drivers see you.
  2. If you ride in a group, make sure you trust everyone else in that group. If anyone makes a mistake, it could lead to a chain-reaction accident.
  3. Maintain a 20-foot cushion around yourself. That's how far you want to be from other bikes or vehicles, on all sides.
  4. Only ride when you're awake and alert. Of course, you never want to drink and ride, but you also want to avoid drowsy riding, which can reduce reaction times.
  5. Look for escape routes. Know where you'd go if someone else makes a mistake. That 20-foot cushion can help at stoplights.
  6. Watch the cars behind your bike. Sometimes, drivers do not see a stopped motorcycle and rear-end it. Watch out for cars that approach too quickly. The accident would be that driver's fault, but you still want to avoid it if possible. You're very exposed on a motorcycle.

These safety tips can help, but you may still get involved in an accident. Be sure you know all of your legal options.

Source: Buffalo Chip, "12 Safety Tips Seasoned Riders Swear By," Mary Panerio, accessed June 15, 2018

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