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As an avid or occasional motorcycle rider you probably have dedicated clothes and gear that you put on before each ride. But you might not fully understand why your jacket has reflective hints on it or why it’s so important to wear a helmet.

The truth of the matter is what you wear as a rider can save your life. Making wardrobe choices that help you stand out, protect your head and provide proper airflow can prevent intense injuries that result in crashes.

Wearing bright colors

When you pick up new gear or get ready for your ride, it’s always a good idea to implement bright, florescent and reflective pieces. Since research shows that it’s already quite difficult to take note of a motorcycles, even when they are right in front of a driver’s face, any additional efforts to increase visibility are essential. Thankfully, if bright colors aren’t exactly your style, you can always wear a mesh vest that you can easily slip on over any number of layers and take off once you reach your destination.

Covering your head

Wearing a helmet, even if you are just taking a cruise around the block is crucial. This is because, there is data to show that head and neck injuries are the primary reason that motorcyclists and bicyclists die, suffer severe injuries or disabilities. So, not wearing proper head protection ⁠— a helmet with no cracks that fits your head properly ⁠— can keep you riding for many more years to come.

It’s also useful to implement other protective gear in your getup. Because if a collision tips you off your bike and you aren’t wearing gloves, then you might end up with more severe hand injuries. Covering other areas of exposed skin with pants, long sleeves and supportive boots can also minimize the impact of an accident.

Allowing airflow

You can keep your focus and regulate your body temperature by picking out gear and clothing that allows ventilation. If you become sweaty on a long trek, you might lose focus or endure fatigue and fall victim to a crash. Since your balance and attention are key to safe riding, it’s necessary to wear breathable clothing and riding accessories.

Before your next ride, consider taking the time to make sure your wardrobe is up to speed when it comes to safety.