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Are you a new motorcycle rider? Learn how to ride safely

Late summer and early autumn in Kentucky are prime times for riding motorcycles. But if you are a new rider of the two-wheeled cycles, your inexperience can be deadly. As reported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), motorcycle riders have 30 times as much risk of perishing in an accident than their counterparts in automobiles.

Almost 50 percent of those motorcyclists die in accidents involving only their bikes. That indicates that some riders are remiss in their safety protocols.

Many motorcycle enthusiasts are older riders. They may have ridden in younger years but gave it up when their focus turned to careers and rearing families. Still others are new to the sport entirely.

Older riders often have age-induced vision problems, brittle bones and slower reflexes. These factors present heightened risks for motorcyclists 60 and older, who need hospitalization after accidents at three times the rate of younger riders.

Use the tips below to keep you safer in the saddle no matter your age or experience riding:

  • Make sure the bike you're riding is the proper size for you. At rest on the seat, both feet should be flat on the ground. All bike controls and handlebars must be easily in reach.
  • Don't ride more motorcycle than you comfortably can handle. Today's high-performance motorcycles go a lot faster and use more power than the motorcycles many remember from their youthful riding days.
  • Always wear a helmet. Even though Kentucky permits riders over 21 who have been licensed for more than a year to forego helmet usage, to do so is sheer folly.
  • Buy a bike with an anti-lock brake system (ABS). Data from the IIHS indicates that motorcycles with ABS brakes have 37 percent less risk of involvement in fatal collisions than those with no ABS brakes.
  • Don't skimp on riding gear. That's what protects you where the rubber meets the road, so if you go flying off your bike wearing cut-off shorts and flip-flops, it's not going to be pretty.

If you get injured in a motorcycle crash due to another party's negligence, you have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault party.

Source: Consumer Reports, "10 Motorcycle safety tips for new riders," accessed Sep. 01, 2017

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