The Ohio Highway Safety Office reports that motorcycle rider injuries and fatalities significantly declined from 2017 to 2018. The agency attributes this positive change to safety measures such as motorcycle awareness campaigns.

As you plan your fall foliage rides and other autumn activities, remember these tips to protect yourself from catastrophic injury on your motorcycle.

Helmets and gear

Start with a helmet that has approval from the Department of Transportation. Failure to wear a helmet or wearing a helmet that does not fit properly can result in a traumatic brain injury in a collision. Protect your skin with heavy fabrics, such as denim or leather. Boots and leather gloves provide an additional shield from abrasions and other injuries.

Rider education

New riders should take a training course with a DOT-certified educator. Even if you have been riding a motorcycle for years, a refresher course can reduce your risk for an accident.

When you get a new bike, take it out on quiet roads and practice at various times of day. Ride rain and shine until you get the hang of these conditions, then try your bike on busier highways.

Traffic regulations

Follow the same traffic laws you would when driving a car. Speeding is especially dangerous on a motorcycle. You can share a lane with one other biker. Ohio does not prevent motorcyclists from splitting the lane (traveling between lanes), but you risk a serious injury if a car does not see you.

Make sure you remain visible to larger vehicles by leaving plenty of distance. Stay out of blind spots and make sure intersections are completely clear before proceeding to avoid a serious accident.