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Motorcyclists: gear up for safe rides this spring

With the winter weather behind us, people all across Rhode Island are ready for spring. For many anxious residents, this includes getting back out on their motorcycles. 

If you are like many other riders in the Ocean State, you are getting your bike out of storage and ready for the road. However, you should also be preparing yourself by brushing up on the state laws and safety regulations that can prove to be the difference between a safe ride and catastrophic injury.

For example, you should know that you need to have eye protection and should have a helmet, particularly if you are under 21 or a novice rider, as helmet use is required by state law for these people. You may also want to get your bike checked to make sure there are no problems or broken parts that may have gone un-repaired or unnoticed during the winter.

Reviewing safe riding practices can also be crucial. Are you clear on lane-splitting rules? Do you remember how to share the lane with other riders? Do all your lights work, and are you prepared to ride safely and defensively?

Sadly, despite all the preparation that bikers do before getting out on the road, their lives can still be put in serious danger when other motorists fail to take these same precautions. Drivers often fail to look out for motorcycles, particularly after several months of not seeing any on the road, and they don't always give bikers the time and space they need. 

While we hope that every rider in Rhode Island has a safe and accident-free spring, we know that accidents can and do happen. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you should understand that you have options to file a legal claim seeking compensation against a negligent party. Doing so won't undo an accident, but it can help you get the help you need to move forward and recover from one.

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