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Motorcycle season is here: Be safe

As the spring arrives, more people will be heading out on their motorcycles in Connecticut. It's a great way to feel the breeze and feel more connected to nature, and motorcycles also get better gas mileage and reduce emissions. Using a motorcycle is an excellent way to get from one place to another, but it's all for nothing if you don't get there safely.

The beginning of motorcycle season is always dangerous for motorcyclists due to others who don't expect to see them on the roadways. Winter conditions often make it hard, and sometimes impossible, for riders to use anything other than a car or truck, but when the snow melts and ice drips away, that changes.

How can you protect yourself on your first and subsequent rides of the season?

The first thing you should always do is have regular maintenance performed on your motorcycle. Make sure the tires have good grip and that your brakes work effortlessly. Check your lights and other parts of the motorcycle, so you know it's as safe as possible.

Next, look at your own gear. Get rid of helmets that have already been impacted and buy gear that is in good condition. You want to have the best protection possible, so get whatever the best gear is that you can afford. Always ride with protective gear from top to bottom, so you're protected as much as possible if you have to slide or are hit.

One other thing you can do is make sure you stand out. Whether that means wearing bright, reflective clothing or installing a horn loud enough to alert vehicles to your presence, you want to make sure you can be seen and heard. There is no greater risk to a motorcyclist than when they cannot be seen or heard.

Finally, it is in your best interests to make sure you are always acting defensively. A defensive driver pays attention to what's happening around them and is prepared to stop or take steps to evade potential collisions. Be defensive when you drive. Pay attention to speed limits, watch out for drivers who attempt to merge into you or turn in front of you, and take a defensive driving course so that you know the best ways to handle your motorcycle in an emergency situation.

With these tips, you can stay safer when you ride. Be careful out there, so you can continue to enjoy your ride.

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