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Safety is important to motorcycle riders

With warmer temperatures coming on, more West Virginia motorcyclists will be hitting the roads. As ridership increases, two- and four-wheel drivers need to be aware of each other. This can cut down on the number of injuries and fatalities that often result from motorcycle accidents.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and it could be a good time to debunk some myths about motorcycle riders and bike safety. First, bikers who wear leather aren't necessarily tough guys or gang members. Wearing leathers may look cool, but the garments serve a more important purpose. They protect fragile skin from road rash and cuts should a rider be in an accident. They'll also keep a rider warm on cool days.

Motorcycle riders need to ride defensively at all times. They should never assume that passenger vehicle drivers will automatically see or hear them. Distracted drivers can cut in front of them, make improper turns or stop suddenly, possibly causing accidents. New riders shouldn't buy the biggest bikes on the market. The bigger a motorcycle is, the harder it can be to handle. Motorcycles can weigh 700 pounds, making them hard to maneuver, even for skilled riders. New riders should start with smaller motorcycles, then graduate to bigger ones as their skills and confidence improve.

One of the most important things any rider can do is wear a helmet. Full-face helmets are preferred because the shield protects riders from getting hit in the face by bugs or rain. Helmets also protect riders from brain injuries that can result if their head hits the pavement after being thrown from the bike. When such an accident is the fault of the driver of another vehicle, a personal injury lawsuit filed with the assistance of an attorney can often result in compensation being awarded for the harm that has been suffered.

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