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Check over your gear before riding your motorcycle

It was a mild winter, but New Yorkers are still eager to get out and celebrate spring. One way to do that is to get on your motorcycle and ride.

But to make sure that you are as safe as possible, you should do a check to make sure that all of your protective gear still fits and is in riding shape.

Numerous studies and in-depth analyses of police reports on motorcycle accidents prove time and again that a rider's single best defense against death and incapacitating head injuries is a helmet. But not any helmet; it must meet standards set by Department of Transportation standards. It also must be well-fitting and not obstruct the vision by slipping forward.

But don't stop there. If your helmet doesn't have a face shield, one of the most vulnerable parts of your body can be disfigured in a crash. But even everyday hazards like pebbles and bugs hurtling through the air can injure and disorient riders enough to make them wreck their motorcycles.

Heavy denim or leather pants and jackets can deflect a lot of damage from road rash, but making sure that you're wearing boots that come above the ankles and full-finger gloves provides even more protection.

By far the biggest hazard motorcyclists face is other drivers. Many appear oblivious to the presence of two-wheeled cycles on the roads, which is one reason many riders equip their bikes with loud exhaust pipes.

If you wind up in a crash, your injuries can be extensive, and life as you know it may change forever. After a wreck, a civil settlement or judgment can help you resume your life without worrying about a mountain of medical bills.

Source: helmetcheck.org, "Personal Protective Gear For the Motorcyclist," accessed March 25, 2016

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