With warmer weather readily approaching, motorcycle enthusiasts are likely gearing up to hit the beautiful open roads. Whether you’re riding to work or simply enjoying a pleasant afternoon drive around town, you’re excited to get out there.

However, as fun as it is to ride your bike, your safety is essential, too. The roads can be dangerous for everyone, but especially for motorcyclists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that motorcyclists were 27 times more likely to die in a crash than car passengers.

Distracted drivers and busy roads with large trucks and vehicles pose a threat to motorcyclists. To stay safe the road, you should consider following a few safety guidelines:

  • Wear a helmet – Helmets can reduce the risk of fatality by 37%. The use of a helmet can prevent traumatic brain injuries that can occur from a severe accident.
  • Wear thick clothing or body armor – Thick clothing that doesn’t easily tear can prevent you from getting serious scratches and lacerations if you’re thrown off your bike in an accident. Body armor such as kneepads can also help minimize severe bodily damage.
  • Obey traffic laws – Motorcyclists should follow the rules of the road, just like any other driver. Make sure you signal when you turn and observe speed limits and street signs.
  • Stay visible – When you’re driving around larger vehicles, it can be difficult for drivers to realize you’re there. Staying as visible as possible can prevent any collisions.
  • Always drive sober – Riding your bike while impaired can lead to dangerous accidents. If you’ve had a few drinks, find an alternative ride home instead of getting back on your bike.

Taking precautions before you head out on the road is the best way to guarantee your safety. Motorcycles aren’t the same as cars – in an accident, you have less protection around you that can minimize the impact of a collision.

Protect yourself as you ride, and you can enjoy a great experience on the road this spring.