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Staying safe on your motorcycle

Over the last few years Pennsylvania has seen a dramatic increase in registered motorcycles and licensed motorcyclists on its roads. In 2012 alone the number of registered riders increased to more than 854,000. In order to create a safer environment and protect our state’s riders the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has focused their energy on improving rider safety through a number of ways.

PennDOT’s Motorcycle Safety Campaign

PennDOT has created a motorcycle safety campaign, “Live Free Ride Alive”. The campaign’s main goal is to “reduce the number of motorcycle crashes and fatalities on Pennsylvania’s roadways”. The website is designed specifically for riders who are interested in safe riding. It contains a number of informative posts on getting properly licensed, how to ride a motorcycle, reducing aggressive driving behaviors, and wearing the proper protective gear. The website also features training videos that promote the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program which gives motorcycle license and permit holders the opportunity to take advantage of free safety training.

Safety Tips for Motorcyclists

Improving safety on the road is a pretty straightforward process, by following these steps you can easily reduce your chances of being involved in a motorcycle accident and stay on your bike longer.

  1. Always wear a helmet. If you do not already own one, purchase a U.S. DOT-approved helmet and face and eye protective gear. You should also consider buying protective clothing in order to protect the rest of your body.The law requires the rider to wear protective head gear unless they are at least 21 years old and have been licensed to operate a motorcycle for at least two years.
  2. Before hitting the road make sure that you are comfortable with the motorcycle and how it rides. Always preform a pre-ride check of the bike.
  3. Wearing reflective clothing will help increase your chances of being noticed drastically, especially if you are riding at night.
  4. DO NOT RIDE INTOXICATED. This should be common sense. Never drink and drive.
  5. Obey all speed limits. This will give you ample time to react to a sudden change on the road, such as an accident in front of you.
  6. Always practice defensive riding when you are out on the roads. You should also be able to confidently handle your motorcycle in adverse weather conditions such as snow or heavy rain, just in case.
  7. Be aware of the conditions of the road. If there is a lot of damage such as pot holes or gravel on the road you should reduce your speed until you pass by them safely.

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