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Keeping teens safe on their motorcycles

Teen motorcyclists in Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the U.S. will want to know how they can keep themselves safe. After all, motorcyclists are 35 times more likely than automobile drivers to get in a fatal crash, and 90 percent of all motorcyclists who are involved in a crash had no previous formal training. What makes matters worse is that over half of all teen motorcyclists opt for sports bikes, which are responsible for more collisions than any other model.

The first tip that experts give is to take a training course on motorcycle riding. Teens should then purchase the required protective gear. Helmets in particular can decrease the chance for a fatal head injury by 40 percent. It must be one that's approved by the Department of Transportation, however. Approved helmets come with foam padding and tend to be heavy. Other important gear includes gloves, shatterproof goggles, and reflective clothing.

Teens tend to speed, so they should follow the speed limit even when the road is wide open. Speeding accounts for roughly half of all single-vehicle motorcycle fatalities. Teens should also avoid having passengers until they become more experienced; passengers can quickly become a distraction. Their choice of motorcycle can also influence their risk for accidents.

Unfortunately, even when all precautions are taken, a negligent car driver will often fail to see an oncoming motorcycle and take a left turn in front of it. The resulting collision can severely injure the motorcyclist. When this happens, the injured victim might want to meet with a lawyer and see how best to seek appropriate compensation.

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