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How can you avoid a motorcycle crash?

It's summer, and that means it's time to put some miles on your motorcycle again. You're thrilled. You had to keep it in the garage for far too long. You're excited to get out there and hit the open road.

When you first started riding, you worried about crashing. Who doesn't? However, it's now been five years, and you have never gotten involved in a single wreck. You have stopped worrying about it, and now you actually wonder if these accidents get more hype than they deserve.

Here's the reality: A lot of experts say that you can only become one of two types of motorcyclists. First, you can be a rider who has already experienced a crash. Second, you can be a rider who will crash in the future.

The idea is that every motorcycle rider, given enough time and enough miles, will get in a wreck. The seriousness varies. Some people get into deadly accidents that leave motorcycle parts strewn all over the highway. Others get in simple low-speed wrecks that lead to sprains, bruises and road rash. But everyone eventually crashes.

No safety culture?

One potential issue, though, is that some riders do not take safety very seriously at all. If you do, you're less likely to crash. Many ride without helmets, wear dark colors instead of bright colors, drive after they've been drinking and break the speed limit. A lot of this is illegal, and even the things that aren't -- like wearing a black jacket -- make riding more dangerous than it has to be.

Some experts blame a lack of safety knowledge in the United States. One expert was asked in which country he noted the lowest amount of regard for safety while riding. He claimed that it was "very much the U.S., which is the worst among the countries that I know. The United States is the country with the least awareness about safety."

Again, if you're riding safely, you're not part of the problem, but the reality is that many people do not take safety seriously.

Even that could cause issues for you, though. Motorcycle riding is a community event. People do it together, in groups. Some of them almost never ride alone.

If it's the community aspect that you like, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but you do open yourself up to more risk. Is another rider, who perhaps does not respect safety the way you do, going to cause an accident that puts you in the hospital?

Your rights in New Jersey

You must understand the risks of riding a bike this summer. If another biker or a driver injures you in a crash, you also need to understand your legal rights to compensation.

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