As the weather warms up, the open road beckons motorcyclists. It is essential to take steps to ensure your safety when you are operating a motorcycle. You can help reduce the risk of serious crashes and injuries.

1. Keep an eye on your speed

The temptation to open up the throttle, especially when roadways are not busy, can be overwhelming. However, the faster you’re traveling, the less time you have to react. Maintaining a safe speed allows you more time to stop and adjust to changing road conditions.

2. Don’t drink and ride

Alcohol and motor vehicles don’t mix. Motorcyclists, in particular, need to keep their balance and coordination as sharp as possible. Motorcycle riders made up 33% of alcohol-related traffic fatalities in 2017. Hold off on that drink until your day of riding is over.

3. Understand what you’re doing

This may seem obvious, but many motorcyclists have little to no safety training. Some may not even be licensed to operate a motorcycle. Understanding your vehicle and what steps you should take in a wide range of circumstances can go a long way toward preventing serious injuries.

4. Assume other drivers don’t see you

The law gives motorcycles the same rights to the road as other vehicles. However, that does not mean that other drivers are paying attention. Ride defensively and act like you are invisible to all other vehicles on the road.

5. Wear protective gear

You can take every safety measure possible. However, sometimes motorcycle crashes are unavoidable. Wearing proper safety gear, including a helmet, can provide you with enough protection to make the difference between life and death.

Stay safe

While you can’t control the actions of other drivers, you can take steps to help protect yourself when riding a motorcycle. Taking basic, reasonable precautions can help ensure that you will remain in the saddle for years to come.