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Safety tips for novice motorcyclists

Tennessee motorists may recognize the fact that a motorcyclist is particularly vulnerable in an accident. Statistics indicate that the risk of death in an accident is 30 times higher for a motorcyclist than for an individual who is in a car at the time of a wreck. Risks increase for older riders who tend to be more physically vulnerable because of issues associated with age. Slow reflexes and poor eyesight can increase the potential for an accident. An individual over the age of 60 is three times as likely to require hospitalization in case of a motorcycle accident.

To reduce the possibility of serious incidents and motorcycle accident injuries, a new rider should become familiar with important safety protocol and tips. From the time a purchase is considered, safety should be a top priority, and a new motorcyclist should avoid buying more than they can handle confidently. A bike should fit the rider, and controls and handlebars should be within easy reach. Antilock brakes are important for limiting the risk of locking up and losing control.

A helmet should be purchased as well. Failure to wear a helmet increases the risk of a fatal head injury in a wreck by approximately 40 percent. A rider should also invest in and use proper gear, making it a point to wear brighter colors for night riding. Defensive driving is also important. Additionally, bad weather increases the risk of an accident; a new rider should avoid riding in wet conditions or strong winds.

Even an experienced motorcyclist can be involved in an accident, and in cases involving distracted motorists or poor road conditions, personal injury litigation might be considered. Because a motorcyclist is more vulnerable in an accident, the injuries and recovery in an incident caused by negligent actions could be lengthy and costly.

Source: Consumer Reports, "10 motorcycle safety tips for new riders", December 12, 2014

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