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When it comes to driving a motorcycle, “looking the part” can be the difference between arriving at a destination and arriving at the hospital.

From 2001 to 2007 motorcycle deaths in Virginia have grown from 44 per year to a horrific 126 per year.

But preventing a horrific motorcycle accident can be as simple as getting dressed (the right way) in the morning. Wearing a helmet, eye protection, leather jackets, durable gloves, and proper footwear is not just a stylistic choice it is a safety precaution.

Most important in preventing brain and head injuries is wearing a helmet. According to the Virginia DMV, helmets are about 29 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries. A rider without a helmet is 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury than is a helmeted rider.

Passenger head protection is also enforced in Virginia. The Mandatory Helmet Law in Virginia states that,

"Every person operating a motorcycle shall wear a face shield, safety glasses or goggles, or have his motorcycle equipped with safety glass or a windshield at all times while operating the vehicle, and operators and any passengers thereon shall wear protective helmets . . .”

Eye protection is also vital to safety on the road. Dirt and debris can be stirred up by the wind as well as by the motor vehicles traveling in front of a motorcyclist. Good quality goggles, glasses with plastic or safety lenses, or a helmet equipped with a face shield can prevent eye tearing and face injuries.

In addition, wearing leather pants and boots simply furthers the protection between your body and the ground, in the even of an accident.

Motorcycle safety is a serious matter and could protect you when you least anticipate it.

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