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long you have been riding, always ride defensively, especially when approaching intersections, where, according to Allstate Insurance, 46 percent of all motorcycle crashes occur. On the highway or in the city, avoid an automobile or truck’s blind spot. Ride with your lights on. Use hand signals in addition to your lights. Avoid swerving in and out of traffic, and put some space between you and other riders on group rides.

Wear your helmet: If you want to enjoy riding for a very long time, wear a U. S. Department of Transportationcertified helmet. Next to your bike, your helmet is a rider’s most important piece of equipment. Know the helmet laws in your state and the states to which you are traveling. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 19 states and the District of Columbia require helmets to be worn by the motorcycle operator and his or her passengers at all times. The laws in other states vary, such as requiring helmets to be worn by minors.

Check your insurance: All but three states—Washington, Montana and Florida—require motorcycle insurance (typically liability). Do not assume your auto insurance covers your use of a motorcycle, scooter or moped. McMahon said review auto insurance carefully. And always have proof of insurance on you in the event that you are involved in a crash.