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Safety tips to avoid motorcycle accidents this summer

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW)- As summer approaches and some residents get ready to hop back on their motorcycles, experts provide tips on how to limit accidents.

According to Megan Anderson, Gundersen Health's Injury Prevention Coordinator, warm weather usually means an increase in motorcycle traumatic injuries.

Data shows motorcycles are among the top three causes of traumatic injuries. Anderson stated there are several tips local motorcyclists can use this year to avoid accidents. Anderson asserts one of the biggest things riders can do is to wear a helmet, as it significantly lowers the risk of brain damage.

Although Wisconsin has a partial helmet law, which only requires those that are 18 years old or younger and riders with an instructional permit to wear a helmet, Anderson strongly encourages all motorcyclists to use the protective gear.

"We know that helmets reduce the cause of traumatic brain injury by a lot, and we know that out of the traumatic injuries that we see at Gundersen related to motorcycle crashes, about less than half of people are wearing a helmet at the time of the crash," said Anderson.

Additionally, Anderson advises motorcyclists to ride carefully, being sure to follow speed limits, avoid driving at dawn or dusk, and steer clear of areas that you are likely to encounter wildlife.

As for other drivers on the roads this summer, Anderson said they can also do their part to help keep local streets safe.

"We talk a lot about sharing the road," said Anderson. "Motorists just making sure that as summer approaches, there will be more motorcycles out and about."

Anderson stated drivers can share the road with motorcyclists by looking twice before they change lanes, giving motorcycles some extra space, and being aware of the way motorcyclists drive.

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Grace Gilles

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