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Safety tips for new motorcycle riders

New motorcyclists in New Jersey are no doubt eager to get on the road for the first time. However, safety should always be on the mind of new riders, especially when they are in the process of building their skill set. To make certain you have the tools they need to remain protected, Consumer Reports offers the following tips.

Always Use a Helmet

To understand the level of protection offered by helmets one only needs to look at statistics. In terms of sustaining a fatal head injury, riders without helmets have a 40 percent greater risk. The type of helmet you choose can also have an impact on your injuries. Full face helmets offer the highest level of protection and helmets featuring a Department of Transportation seal of approval are usually best. You should also be sure to replace your helmet every five years or so for maximum protection.

Don’t Drive During Bad Weather

Even seasoned drivers can have trouble driving during storms. Additionally, wind and rain greatly reduce visibility, which will impair a new driver even further. If you’re on the road when a storm hits, be sure to take the proper precautions. Make deliberate maneuvers, use gentle braking, and anticipate the direction strong winds are coming from. In this case, you can reposition your motorcycle to accommodate a sudden wind gust.

Practice Defensive Driving

Defensive driving tactics entails remaining alert and aware of your surroundings. You should also be sure to leave ample room between yourself and other vehicles. Many drivers of cars fail to recognize the presence of motorcycles on the road. As a result, it’s up to you to watch the actions of other drivers closely so you can react accordingly. Defensive driving is also good for identifying potential road hazards before it's too late.

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