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Safety tips from Massachusetts' Motorcycle Manual

Individuals who desire to own and ride a motorcycle in the state of Massachusetts must obtain a special license from the state. Prospective bikers must first obtain a Class M learner's permit from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, then they can obtain a Class M license. Interestingly, one does not need to have a Class D driver's license - the "regular" driver's license most residents likely already have - in order to obtain a Class M license and lawfully ride motorcycles.

In any event, the state has put forth a safety manual for those learning how to ride a motorcycle. In the state's Motorcycle Manual, there are many helpful tips for those riding on two wheels instead of four. Moreover, these safety tips are especially helpful because they can be utilized by vehicle drivers as well as by those riding motorcycles, mopeds and motorized bicycles.

One important safety tip is for motorcyclists to strive to be as visible as possible. Since motorcycles and scooters lack an outer covering, they can be tougher for other drivers to see. Still, vehicle drivers are responsible for making sure the road is clear of all obstacles - including motorcycles and bicycles - before turning. Failure to yield can mean catastrophic injuries for a biker, so visibility is extremely important. Similarly, always routinely scanning ahead on the roadway can be a lifesaving habit for both motorcyclists and vehicle drivers.

Another helpful tip for all drivers is to convey intentions ahead of time. Even something as simple as using a turn signal or hand signal can be incredibly important in preventing an unnecessary collision. In the same vein, both bikers and drivers can benefit by maintaining a safe amount of space between themselves and the vehicle in front of them. Another helpful habit is to drive defensively and look ahead for escape options, especially if one is on a motorcycle.

Unfortunately, not every motorcycle accident can be avoided. Even if a motorist has been as careful as possible, some accidents are caused as a result of another's negligence. In such cases, seeking the assistance of an experienced attorney can help form a solid plan of legal action.

Source: Registry of Motor Vehicles, "Motorcycle Manual - Avoiding Collisions," accessed Nov. 28, 2015

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