A motorcycle ride and how you can best protect yourself

Fall is a wonderful time to be out and about on your motorcycle—perhaps a leisurely morning ride through Indian Hill with a stop for a barbeque lunch in Montgomery.

However, on any ride in any month, you must never forget how vulnerable you are in the event of an accident. Here are some thoughts on how you can best protect yourself from injury.

About motorcycle injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, physical damage that motorcyclists suffer most often are injuries to the feet and legs. This makes sense, because the heavy motorcycle can roll onto your lower leg during a crash. Injuries to the neck and head are next on the list, followed by injuries to the chest, shoulders or back. The fewest injuries occur to hands and arms, the pelvis and hips. The CDC data comes from their study of 1,222,000 riders treated in hospitals across the country from 2001 to 2008.

Effective protection

Think boots rather than sneakers or slip-on shoes. Motorcycle boots protect your feet and ankles better than any other kind of footwear in a crash. To protect against road rash, wear jeans instead of shorts and a long-sleeved leather jacket. In fact, now you can find a jacket with a built-in airbag. This is an innovative safety feature in which sensors react to an impending crash, causing the airbag to inflate to protect your chest and vital organs.

The DOT-approved helmet

Of all the safety-inspired garments available to riders today, the helmet is the most indispensable piece of equipment you can have. You should always wear a DOT-approved helmet, one that meets the U.S. Department of Transportation's standards. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that motorcycle helmets saved more than 1,800 lives in 2016 and reduced the risk of head injury by 69%.

Things can change

A leisurely morning ride can change in an instant, and surviving a car-motorcycle crash may hinge on the kind of protective gear you wear. Your recovery from an injury should be your primary concern while an experienced advocate negotiates full and fair insurance compensation on your behalf. Of course, you may have to postpone that barbeque lunch, but hopefully, not for long.

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