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Warmer weather doesn't mean you should take more risks

Unfortunately, the summer isn't only peak riding season for those who love their bikes; it's also the peak season for motorcycle-related deaths on the roads in the United States.

It makes sense that statistics analyzed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show that about 60 percent of motorcycle fatalities happen during the warmer summer months. That's a significant amount of the annual deaths related to motorcycles, and many of them result from crashes with larger motor vehicles. Enjoy your motorcycle this summer, but take steps to keep yourself safe as well.

Make sure that you invest in good safety gear

The best way to avoid getting hurt on a motorcycle is to avoid any kind of crash or collision, of course. However, when you consider that many crashes between cars and motorcycles are the result of drivers failing to notice motorcycles on the road, avoiding such an incident may not be in your power.

What you can do, however, is stack the odds more in your favor if you do get into a crash. Wear appropriate safety gear that can protect your head and body from the trauma of the crash. A helmet will protect your head and brain from the worst of the impact. Proper riding gear, such as leather or durable synthetic outerwear, can protect your skin from road rash if you wind up on the pavement. Proper footwear and eye protection can also help you drive safely and offer some protection in a crash.

Resist the urge to speed while in traffic

Your motorcycle may be the most fun when you really start moving quickly, but that isn't always the safest choice in traffic. When you're sharing the road with other drivers, you should drive with the flow of traffic, instead of much faster than the other vehicles. Speeding can put you at risk for all kinds of issues, such as failing to stop when you need to.

It's also a good practice to give plenty of space to the larger vehicles around you. While it may feel liberating to zip between two barely-moving SUVs during a traffic jam, those kinds of quick maneuvers could increase your risk for an accident. People in the other vehicles may not notice your approach until it's too late.

Following the basic flow of traffic is one of the best ways to make yourself visible to others on the road. Bright colors, reflectors and lights won't necessarily help if someone doesn't see you moving next to another vehicle.

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