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Riding in winter? Be safe on your motorcycle

Living in Covington or in the surrounding area, you know that winter has been pretty light this year. Snow has been scarce, and temperatures, though low, have rarely dropped below freezing during the day.

As a result, many people have chosen to keep their motorcycles out of their garages and to continue riding. After all, motorcycles cost less to fuel and are often more efficient when traveling in congested areas.

The problem with motorcycles is that many people in Kentucky and Ohio won't expect to see them in the winter. Though central and southern parts of Kentucky might have warmer temperatures and are used to seeing people out on a 60-degree day in the middle of winter, that's not usually the case near Covington.

If you do plan to ride in the winter, you need to make sure you know the area where you'll be traveling and are aware that drivers might not be looking for you on the roads. While you have every right to be on the roads, drivers who don't expect you to be there could make mistakes that lead to your injuries in a serious crash.

Since motorcycles aren't commonly seen in winter, what can you do to stand out?

Since it's not typical to see motorcyclists in winter, you'll want to do all you can to stand out. Some people make their engines louder, so that drivers can hear them. Others keep their lights on all the time. You should consider wearing gear that has reflectors or that is neon colored, because those features make you stand out in a sea of traffic, especially when the weather is gray.

You should also keep in mind that drivers might not be looking for a single headlight, so it's best if you can ride in pairs. This makes you and your riding partner more obvious, reducing the risk of a collision with anyone on the roads.

Cold-weather riding is risky for a few reasons, but making sure you can be seen will help reduce the risk that you'll be hurt in a collision. If you are hit by a truck or other passing vehicle, it's important to go to the hospital and seek medical care. As a person who has little protection, you may suffer severe injuries if a crash does happen, so it's necessary to hold the other party responsible for failing to see you and yield when you had the right of way.

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