Motorcycle riders are more likely to suffer an injury than other drivers in an accident with a car, truck or SUV. The National Safety Council reports that even though motorcycle riders traveled less than 1% of the total miles traveled by U.S. vehicles in 2017, they represented 14% of traffic fatalities. Experience, care on the road and adherence to vehicle safety laws can reduce your risk for involvement in a serious incident.

Stay safe on your motorcycle with these four defensive driving tips.

Keep a safe distance

Maintain enough space between your bike and other vehicles so you will have time to react to unexpected driver actions, such as a sudden stop or swerve. Frequently glance in your back and side mirrors to make sure you are at a safe distance from cars on all sides.

Follow local traffic laws

Motorcycle riders in Connecticut must follow the same safety standards as drivers of other vehicles, including speed limits and other traffic rules. Although you can pass another motorcyclist in the same lane, you may not ride side by side with another bike in the same lane. You cannot travel between traffic lanes.

Be visible

State law requires motorcycles to have an illuminated headlamp at all times. This helps drivers see you, which can prevent common crashes caused when a car violates the right-of-way of a motorcycle. Signal whenever you change lanes or make a turn. Note the blind spots of surrounding vehicles and stay out of those areas.

Take a class

If you are new to riding a motorcycle, have not been on a bike in several years or simply need a refresher, a safety class can dramatically improve your skills and lower the risk for a crash. This tip is especially important for older adults, who are significantly overrepresented in motorcycle fatalities according to the NSC.

Following these four defensive driving tips will help keep you and others safe on the roads. Responsible riding reduces your risk for serious injury.