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Are you aware of these risk factors for motorcycle accidents?

Now that spring is here, motorcycle riding season is back. There are plenty of scenic rides in the area to enjoy. But remember that as fun as riding is, it also comes with more than its fair share of danger. In fact, data from the Insurance Institute for Highways Safety reveal that 14 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities involved bikers.

You are probably already aware of common safety practices such as wearing protective gear and visible clothing, checking for driver blind spots before changing lanes, and slowing down in unfavorable weather. However, are you aware of the following risk factors and how to avoid them?

Impairment

As much as passenger cars are to blame for many motorcycle accidents, unfortunately, bikers are sometimes at fault as well. One of the biggest contributors is impairment from alcohol or drugs. The aforementioned IIHS report shows that the BAC of 28 percent of bikers who died in 2017 was at or above the legal limit. The number rose to 49 percent when just looking at nighttime fatalities.

Never operate your motorcycle after consuming alcohol or other drugs, including prescription medication, even if you feel fine. You may not notice impairment until it is too late and you overlook or react too slowly to a hazard.

Improper licensing

A driver's license may not seem like a big deal, but 31 percent of fatally injured bikers lacked a valid one. This was almost double the rate for drivers of passenger vehicles. It is imperative that you go through the proper training and licensing to be a safe driver and reduce the chances of an accident.

Distraction

Distracted driving is an increasing problem on the road. According to the Governors Highways Safety Association, Virginia had a 113 percent increase in motorcycle deaths due to distracted riding. Remember, distractions can involve more than just use of mobile devices. Fiddling with your bike's settings, looking at the scenery and listening to music can take your hands, eyes or attention off the road.

If you get into an accident, you do not want it to be your fault, especially as it can affect pursuing compensation. Do what you can to stay safe.

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