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Motorcycle Safety Should be a Top Priority for Riders

woman on motorcycle

WASHINGTON -- April 30, 2015: May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and GEICO is committed to making motorcycle safety a top priority by reminding riders of a few safety tips to ensure that everyone has a safe time this motorcycle season.

Here is a safety checklist that every motorcycle rider should follow:

Always wear a helmet – Wearing a helmet while riding your motorcycle is now the law in many states. A Department of Transportation approved helmet will not only protect your head from a critical injury but also cut down on wind noise, windblast on your face and eyes, deflect bugs and other airborne debris. It will also protect you from weather conditions and reduce rider fatigue. Make sure your helmet includes a face shield or protective eyewear.

Wear protective gear – Protective gear such as leather clothing, boots with nonskid soles and gloves can protect your body from a severe fall and could minimize the amount of injuries in case of an accident or a skid. Consider attaching reflective tape to your clothing to make it easier for other drivers to see you.

Follow traffic rules – It's important that riders know the traffic rules and obey the speed limit. Remember to always pass vehicles and other bikes from the passing lane and give yourself enough time to brake especially in inclement weather.

Always ride defensively – Nearly two-thirds of all motorcycle accidents are caused by a driver violating a rider's right of way. Never assume that a driver can see you. Ride with your headlights on and signal well in advance of any change in direction. Stay out of a driver's blind spot and always watch for turning vehicles.

Keep your riding skills honed by taking a safety course – You can never have enough training when it comes to riding a motorcycle. Play it safe and take a formal motorcycle safety course. Experienced riders can also benefit from taking riding courses from time to time to sharpen riding techniques and strategies.

Stay awake and ride sober – It’s illegal to operate a motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol affects judgment, vision and decreases your ability to ride and react defensively. Fatigue and drowsiness can also greatly impair your ability to react, so make sure that you are well-rested when you hit the road.

Check your bike before you ride – Make sure your motorcycle is fit for the road by inspecting the tires for proper air, cracks or signs of wear in the treads. Under the motorcycle, look for signs of oil or gas leaks. Make sure the headlights, taillights and signals are in good working condition. Check the hydraulic and coolant levels. In addition, test the clutch and throttle, clean and adjust the mirrors and test the front and rear brake controls.

For additional resources on motorcycle safety, please check out a safety video from AMA Daytona Sportbike Champion Martin Cardenas. For more information, please visit Geico Motorcycle .