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How bikers can be safer on the road

You may be a novice motorcyclist or you may have years of experience, but either way, you must be constantly alert when you take to the road. Precautions include making sure your bike is in good operating condition, that you have taken steps to become as visible as possible to motorists and that you refrain from alcohol before and while riding your bike. There are many safety tips to consider, from what you wear to how you drive. You also must know about motorcycle right of way. Here are a few to think about.

You and your bike can shine

Black has traditionally been a favorite for both motorcycles and biker apparel. The current trend, however, is in colorful riding gear like a bright red helmet or a fluorescent, lime-green vest. If you use reflective tape on your bike, you will be seen better after dark. Put it on your front forks and any other part of your motorcycle that is away from sources of light. Speaking of light, brighter is better. LED lights last longer than bulbs with filaments and are more resistant to damage by vibration. LED turn signals are especially effective because they emit bright, sharp light.

Smart practices

You are probably aware that you should always maintain a safe speed while riding your bike, which means that you should not tailgate. Do not linger in the blind spot of any vehicle, and if you have to slow down or stop, brake firmly, applying both brakes together. As a biker, you must be on the lookout for hazards of many kinds. For example, you may find that dogs can present issues-they like to give chase. Do not let them distract you. Downshift as you approach a dog, then accelerate quickly away. In addition to animals, wet weather can be a problem. If you must ride in the rain, drive in the tracks of the vehicle in front of you and do not follow too closely; you need room to brake and stop in an emergency.

Always drive defensively

Studies show that 70 percent of all motorcycle-vehicle crashes occur at intersections, so be especially careful when you come to a traffic crossway or four-way stop Watch for vehicles that may suddenly turn in front of you, and be aware that the unexpected may happen; for example, people backing out of driveways or from the spaces in parking lots. There is no specific motorcycle right of way in Florida; instead, it’s up to all drivers to avoid crashes.

When accidents happen

Many motorcycle accidents are caused not by the biker but by another vehicle, especially when there’s a question about car, truck or motorcycle right of way. You may have the misfortune to be struck by a drunk driver or need to take drastic evasive action because the motorist in the next lane has fallen asleep at the wheel. If you are ever involved in a crash, your next step is to contact an attorney who is experienced in handling motorcycle accidents and personal injury cases. You need someone to protect your rights and see that you receive the compensation you deserve.

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