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Women's Motorcycle Month a Time to Celebrate Riders, Motorcycle Safety

Every year, more and more women are climbing aboard motorcycles - not as passengers, but into the front seat. In fact, female riders are increasing at a faster rate than new male motorcyclists, by a margin of 21 percent.

Long considered to be a boy's toy, motorcycles are fast appearing in the garages of women across the country. July is officially Women's Motorcycle Month, a time to celebrate trailblazing female riders and welcome new "Motor Maids" to the fold.

Women's Motorcycle Month also presents an opportunity to address the issue of motorcycle accidents and motorcycle safety, always a point of concern for riders and safety officials.

Each year, thousands of motorcyclists will be involved in accidents, some fatal. While there is only so much riders can do to bypass the ignorance and inattention of careless drivers, there is plenty to be done in protecting oneself should an accident occur.

Leather is a fashion statement among many bikers, but its usefulness extends far behind sleek looks. In the event of a motorcycle accident, leather garments can help protect you from road burn, gashes and severe surface wounds. Other clothing is available to bikers that offers similar, if not more comprehensive, protection.

First on everyone's safety checklist should be a helmet. In the event of an accident, your head is the most vulnerable part of you. While the wind may feel exhilarating, it is not worth the risk taken when helmets are forgone.

Finally, motorcycles are more maneuverable than cars, sleeker and often faster. However, with greater capabilities comes the need for greater responsibilities. Taking corners too wide or too fast, attempting to cut through busy traffic or allowing yourself to be too distracted by the ride are all mistakes that motorcyclists sometimes make.

Protecting yourself by dressing appropriately and remaining aware of your surroundings are the first steps to take for any motorcyclist, male or female, who is interested in riding safely.

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