Driving a motorcycle is often more efficient and affordable than driving an automobile, not to mention more fun. However, motorcycle riders have an increased risk for serious injury and death in an auto accident.

According to the National Safety Council, motorcycles represented just 3% of registered vehicles but 14% of auto accident fatalities in 2017. Reduce your risk while riding by following these essential safety tips.

  1. Wear a helmet

Although Texas only requires helmet use for riders younger than 20, everyone should wear a properly fitted helmet approved by the Department of Transportation when riding on a motorcycle. The NSC reports that proper helmet use reduces risk of fatality in a motorcycle crash by 37%. Full-face models that shield the eyes offer the highest level of protection.

  1. Obey traffic laws

The rules of the road apply to cars and trucks as well as motorcycles, bikes and pedestrians. Stick to the speed limit and maintain a safe following distance from other vehicles. Use your signal and stay out of drivers’ blind spots. Make sure those driving cars and trucks see you before you turn or switch lanes. Be especially vigilant at intersections, where accidents are more likely to occur.

  1. Educate yourself

Whether you are a new rider or need a road refresher, look for a motorcycle driving course in your area approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Not only will you improve your safety skills and reduce the risk of a crash, you may also become eligible for insurance discounts and other incentives.

  1. Enhance visibility

When operating a motorcycle, use your headlights even during the daytime. Illumination is especially important after dark or during inclement weather. Make yourself stand out even more by wearing reflective clothing designed to catch the eyes of other motorists.

Following these tips keeps you and others safe on the road. Take care to become a responsible motorcycle rider.