Bikers: Brush up on safety precautions before your next ride

It's summer, and the sun is shining. The days are warm and sunlight sticks around, making the day longer. You love this time of year because it means you get to break out your motorcycle. In fact, you have a few poker-runs planned and hope to participate in a couple of various charity events scheduled throughout Wisconsin.

You take pride in your bike. The freedom and excitement you feel when you ride it bring you joy. While taking your motorcycle out on the road is thrilling, you also understand the risks. When you took your classes and driving test for your motorcycle license, you learned all about the dangers and correct safety measures.

That was years ago. Now, driving your bike is an almost complacent act.

Before you hit the road again, you can take a moment to remember some of those precautions.

Remember that you are sharing the road with other, larger vehicles.

All motorists should follow laws and best driving practices when on the road. Unfortunately, accidents still happen. When crashes involve motorcycles, the outcome is often devastating. Try to avoid riding in blind spots. Pay attention to the other motorists and cars around you. If you see the driver turn their head, this probably indicates they are going to switch lanes. Even if they looked, they may not see you. Watch for swerving, tire position, speed variation and driver engagement.

Don't forget that doing your part can make all the difference.

Proper preparation before riding can encourage safety. Appropriate vehicle maintenance is important. Before leaving the house, check to make sure your bike is functioning correctly. Don't forget to check lights and brakes. Always look at the forecast. Inclement weather can make riding dangerous. Even if you are trying to attend one of those charity runs, you should proceed with caution and make a responsible decision-even if that means not participating. Lastly, always wear proper gear. You should wear a helmet, pants and eye protection. Try to fit your attire with bright colors that will make you stand out to other motorists.

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