As warmer weather slowly but surely makes its way to Connecticut, what better way to enjoy it than spending time outside? For some that means backyard barbecues and trips to the beach. For others, it means dusting off their motorcycle and getting out for regular rides.

Frequent riders know that few activities are as liberating as going for a ride on a nice day. While nothing compares to the wind in your face on a warm day, safety should always be a top priority. Next time you get on your bike, consider these four tips:

1. Dress appropriately. What you wear while riding is the only thing that can protect you in an accident. Wearing a helmet, long sleeves, pants, gloves, appropriate shoes and other gear can protect you from serious injuries.

2. Make yourself seen. Other drivers are notorious for failing to see motorcyclists. While they should be taking the time to look carefully, you can help by making yourself as visible as possible. Wearing bright clothing and putting reflective strips on yourself or your bike can help drivers notice you. It’s also a good idea to make sure your headlights are working and to stay out of blind spots when possible. If you think a motorist doesn’t see you, give them a honk.

3. Be aware of your surroundings. This is good practice for any motorist, but for bikers it is especially important. Know where you are in relation to other vehicles, and make sure to leave room to react if someone doesn’t see you. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for any changes in the road conditions so you aren’t caught off guard.

4. Learn how to ride your bike. This may sound obvious, but really getting to know your specific bike can help you stay safe on the road. Know how it handles in certain conditions and consider taking a course to make sure you’ve considered everything.

While there is little you can do to prevent others from driving recklessly, following these four tips can go a long way toward helping you stay safe this season. Now, grab your helmet and put it into practice.

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