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Prevent motorcycle accidents by obeying rules of the road

North Carolina's Gov. McCrory declared May to be Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The mild temperatures are sure to bring motorcycle enthusiasts out in force for a bit of wind therapy after our long winter, and the governor wants everyone to pay close attention while on the roads to avoid motorcycle accidents.

Our state has over 400,000 residents licensed to drive their cycles, and even more who flock to our beautiful state on day trips and vacations. Below are some tips to make sure everyone makes it home safely.

• Safe drivers know visibility is key. Reflective and brightly colored clothing should be worn when riding.

-- According to state law, all riders must wear a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218 helmet.

-- Don't follow too closely behind motorcycles. Keep a few car lengths between you.

-- Motorcyclists can be in your car's blind spot, so take that extra few seconds to make sure no rider is near when you change lanes in traffic.

-- Don't be a road hog. Motorcycles should ride single file and have the right to an entire lane's width.

-- If a motorcyclist's turn signal remains on, he may have forgotten to turn it off, so be cautious when passing.

In 2013, almost 3,500 people were hurt in North Carolina in motorcycle accidents, with 147 dying. It's important for all drivers to know and obey the rules of the road to keep everybody safe. Motorcyclists can take a free "Rider Skills Day" class to assess their skills and become even safer. Go to the BikeSafeNC website for more information.

Those who have been injured while riding their two-wheelers on North Carolina roads may have grounds to seek compensation from the negligent driver. A personal injury attorney can assess your case and provide counsel, which may result in settlement or judgment and a cash award.

Source: Island Gazette, "Governor McCrory Proclaims May Motorcycle Safety Awareness" Super User, May. 14, 2014

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