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Safety tips for new Minnesota motorcycle riders

Although adventure and fuel efficiency are attractive reasons for riding on motorcycles, it is important to understand that there are some serious dangers for a motorcyclist, especially for a new rider. Statistically, the risk of dying in a motorcycle accident is 30 times greater than in a car accident. Nearly 50 percent of motorcycle-related deaths result from one-vehicle accidents. The risks are greater for older riders whose reflexes, bone strength, and eyesight can lead to more vulnerability in an accident. Alcohol and speeding are two leading factors in such accidents, meaning that some basic precautions can reduce one's risks.

Following tips from experts can also help in reducing one's risk of motorcycle accidents. It is important to buy a bike that is manageable, and today's models offer much better performance without being unmanageable in size. Antilock brakes can be an important safety feature, providing a greater level of control. Practice is crucial for safe riding, making it important to hone one's skills. Head protection is mandatory in some states and is also sensible from a statistical point of view, as fatal head injuries are 40 percent more likely when no helmet is worn. Similarly, proper riding gear is important in case of a slideout.

Errors are more common in poor weather conditions, making it wise to avoid riding during rainy or slippery situations. Road hazards can also result in unexpected slipping and sliding out. Defensive driving is a priority, especially with the prevalence of distracted driving through cellphone use. A preliminary check of equipment before riding is also wise to ensure that the motorcycle is safe.

A motorcyclist who has been injured in an accident in spite of such precautions may be concerned about the issues and individuals contributing to the situation. Personal injury litigation might be considered if another driver's negligence has resulted in an accident, especially if a problem such as impairment or distraction has been a factor.

Source: Consumer Reports, "10 motorcycle safety tips for new riders", December 08, 2014

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Law Office of Jeffrey A. Jones, PA

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