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Staying safe on, around motorcycles with these tips

Did you know that motorcyclists are about 37 times more likely to suffer a fatal accident than those driving cars? It’s true. But both types of drivers can do their part to reduce the number of deadly motorcycle accidents on the roads today.

If you’re driving a car, allow plenty of following distance behind a motorcycle. A common cause of motorcycle accidents is tailgating motorists. And take extra care around intersections. Most motorcycle crashes occur when a motorist accidentally turns left in front of a motorcycle. Above all, drive carefully around motorcycles. The University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research estimates that car drivers are at fault about 60 percent of the time in car-motorcycle collisions.

Motorcyclists can avoid many accidents by refraining from riding in bad weather and always using turn signals for every turn or lane change. And don’t forget blind spots. Many motorcycle crashes occur when a motorcyclist inadvertently drives in the blind spot of a motorist. Motorcyclists also can reduce the likelihood of a crash by participating in a skills course.

Your gear and your motorcycle play a role in your safety as well. Make sure if you’re purchasing a motorcycle to buy one that fits your skill level; a common mistake among new motorcyclists is buying a bike that’s too much for them to handle. Selecting a quality helmet and wearing it EVERY time you hit the road is also very important. Studies show that riders without a helmet are 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury in a crash. Without a helmet, you’re also three times more likely to suffer a brain injury.