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Why all motorcyclists need safety gear

When you hop in the car for a quick trip to the store, you may need to grab your keys, your wallet and your jacket, but you will probably not stop to think about whether you are wearing the right clothing for an accident. Before you get on your motorcycle, however, you should.

Here are three reasons safety gear is a must on every ride.

Protection

Every bit of you is exposed to injury when you ride. You want gear designed to protect in a crash, and that includes a full-face helmet, according to RideApart.com. One study found that nearly half of the blows to the head in crashes happen to the face area.

Safety experts also recommend a motorcycle-specific jacket that fits snugly and includes body armor over the elbows, shoulders and back. Likewise, riding-pants armor should cover the hips, shins and knees. Materials such as denim shred quickly in a slide, leading to serious road rash.

Boots should be able to support your ankles and feet and prevent them from twisting or being crushed in a crash while providing traction. Gloves should include armor over the palm of your hands because that is the area most likely to come into contact with the road in an accident.

Visibility

According to the State of New Jersey, 24 percent of the motorcycle deaths in 2015 were due to motorist inattention, so anything you can do to increase your visibility is essential. When you choose your outerwear, including your helmet, consider neon yellow, orange or bright red. Putting reflective tape on your motorcycle is also a good way to increase the chances of other drivers seeing you.

Legality

In New Jersey, there is a universal helmet law, which means every rider must wear one. A U.S. Department of Transportation sticker indicates that the helmet has the necessary safety rating. The helmet must fit you securely, have reflectors on each side and include a neck or chin strap.

Even if your gear keeps you alive in a collision, it may be worth your while to seek to hold a negligent motorist liable for damages. An attorney may be able to provide advice and help you gather evidence to hold the responsible parties accountable.

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