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5 safety tips for senior motorcycle riders

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Motorcycle enthusiasts aged 60 and over finally have the time and money to enjoy their long-awaited hobby. They can join their friends, head out on the open road and experience the great outdoors astride their Harleys, Indians and Yamahas. Perhaps you are a member of this group.

However, there is a concern: The over-60 crowd is three times more prone to serious injury than younger bikers, and many of their injuries involve the head or chest. Although not all accidents are preventable, senior bikers can reduce the risks by following a few easy tips.

1. Take instruction. You may be a new rider, so be sure you take a safety course. Even experienced riders can benefit from a refresher course.

2. Use a DOT-approved helmet. Helmets save lives, that is all there is to it.

3. Wear high-visibility attire. Wearing high-visibility orange or yellow in a vest or helmet will help motorists see you. Even if that is only for a second, they will register the fact that a biker is nearby.

4. Apply reflective tape. If you ride after dark, do whatever you can to become more visible. One easy and economical way to do that is to apply reflective tape to the front of your forks and to your panniers. Some people apply it to their wheels. You can also put a patch of reflective tape on the sleeves and back of your jacket.

5. Avoid blind spots. You cannot avoid blind spots completely, but be mindful of them. When you can, lay back or pass swiftly, then position yourself so that motorists can see you more easily.

Rely on legal help

Studies show that older motorcycle riders are at risk partly because their vision is not as sharp as it once was, and their reflexes not as swift. Then again, if a crash occurs, it may not be your fault. If you should find yourself in an accident and suffer injuries, reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney who will defend your rights, work diligently to obtain just and fair compensation on your behalf, and help you get back on the road again.

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