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Staying safe on your motorcycle during Motorcycle Awareness month
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) there are over 4 million motorcycles registered in the United States. Approximately 80% of reported motor-cycle accidents result in injury or death (NHTSA). One of the main reasons for this is because a motorcycle provides virtually no protection during a crash. During the month of May, we wanted to give riders a few extra tips to help keep you safe on your chopper before you embark on the open road. Mercer Island seems to be a popular place where motorcycle riders enjoy coming to ride, so keep these tips in mind:
• Take a motorcycle rider training class AND get your motorcycle endorsement BEFORE you ride your motorcycle on the roadways. It’s important you become familiar with your motorcycle in a controlled environment, get properly educated on motorcycle laws and rules of the road, as well as understand all of the safety requirements for riding your motorcycle on Washington’s roadways (An estimated 33% of motorcycle operators killed in traffic crashes are not licensed or are improperly licensed to operate a motorcycle - NHTSA).
• Always do a safety inspection on your motorcycle before taking it out on the open road. Check your motorcycle’s oil, gas, other fluids, clutch cables, tire air pressure, head/tail lights, and brakes.
• A good rule to follow - never ride your motorcycle after consuming alcohol and/or drugs.
• Always wear an approved motorcycle helmet while riding (look for the DOT label).
• Wear proper clothing and eye protection while riding as it may save you from serious injury if you are involved in an accident/crash.
• Do not carry a passenger under 5 years old. Also remember, riding a motorcycle with a passenger is much different than riding it alone.
• Make sure that all of your motorcycle’s lights and lamps are lit while in the motorcycle is in motion so that you are visible during all hours of the day.
Good Rules to Follow:
• Treat other motorists with courtesy and respect.
• Avoid tailgating.
• Avoid riding between lanes of slow moving or stopped traffic.
• Know and obey traffic laws, including ordinances in your community.
• Avoid excessive noise by leaving the stock muffler in place or using a muffler of equivalent noise reduction.
• Use signals when appropriate.