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Staying safe on a motorcycle

Motorcyclists in West Virginia may have to traverse everything from winding mountain roads to crowded city streets. When potentially unsafe traffic situations emerge, it's important to be prepared.

First and foremost, motorcyclists should ensure that they're never in another motorist's blind spot. Ride in front of cars or behind them, not side by side, when stuck in traffic. When passing, double check to see that the lane is clear. Proceed with the pass only after the turn signal has thoroughly alerted the other vehicle. If possible, remain in the center of the lane to avoid wind gusts and large mirrors. The same goes for intersections; motorcyclists should also approach them with their headlights on, day or night.

At night, motorcyclists should turn on the high beams, slow down and keep a good distance from the vehicle in front. Be on alert if a vehicle's taillights bob up and down. This means that it just hit an uneven surface. Sewer grates, potholes, and debris can easily endanger motorcyclists.

Sharp curves should be taken widely as this allows the motorcyclist to see oncoming traffic. When it's raining, try to ride in the previous car's tire tracks. Furthermore, it's important to drive more slowly with passengers since the added weight increases the bike's response time.

Motorcyclists are at a high risk for catastrophic injuries, such as brain injuries. If motorcycle crash victims are not at fault, they may be eligible for compensation. With the help of investigators, an attorney can assess a claim and gather proof of a driver's negligence or recklessness. The lawyer could then negotiate for a settlement or proceed to litigation.

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