In 2012, more than 93,000 bikers were hurt in accidents, not to mention the fatalities. Many of those tragedies could have been prevented with proper safety gear such as helmets and jackets or by maintaining control of their bikes on curves or at intersections where other vehicles might pull out suddenly into your path. If you’re considering buying a motorcycle, here are some safety tips to keep in mind.

Buy The Right Gear

This includes at least a DOT-approved helmet and durable jacket along with tough pants made of sturdy leather or ballistic nylon. Gloves will help protect your hands if things go wrong, and boots that cover the ankles will help protect your feet. When you’re shopping for motorcycle gear, always buy new, never used.

Learn How To Drive Safely

Taking a training course is not only the law in some states; it will also help you learn how to be mindful of other drivers and pedestrians on the road and how to operate your bike properly—and keep it under control. When heading out on the road, stay alert and protect yourself by wearing your gear at all times; you never know when you’ll need it.

Share the Road

Follow all traffic laws and be mindful of vehicles around you. If a car makes a sudden turn in front of you, they might not see you because you are in their blind spot. Use your signals to let others know when you plan to change lanes or slow down so they can avoid cutting you off. And never tailgate; give yourself enough room to brake if something goes wrong. This is one of the most important driver safety tips.

Check All Fluids and Tire Pressure Before Heading Out

Make sure your bike is tuned correctly, too. If you’re checking the tire pressure, it’s smart to invest in a gauge so you can do this task on your own—the first step toward taking care of your bike on your own.

Be Visible While Driving

Make sure your headlight and taillight are working properly. Wear bright, reflective clothing so other drivers can see you easily even when it’s dark out. Reduce your speed and keep your distance from cars on congested roads. Get off the road and find a safe place to park during bad weather such as rain or snow that could affect your visibility and grip. And, of course: never drink and drive!

Ensure Your Bike Is Properly Registered and Insured

If you’re riding on public roads, your motorcycle must be registered. Depending on where you live, this may require an inspection of the bike to make sure it’s roadworthy. For added protection, you might want to invest in motorcycle insurance. It’s important to have liability coverage so you can be protected in case of an accident or theft.

If You Are in an Accident, Call an Attorney Immediately

Motorcycle accidents are complex, and the insurance claim process is complicated. You will need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to help you navigate this process to get the maximum settlement for your injuries. Having an attorney can also help you if you are facing criminal charges resulting from the accident. Remember, Public defenders have less time to devote to each case (25% less) which means they are less likely to get your charges reduced or dismissed.

These tips will help to ensure that you and your bike stay safe on the road this year. Ensure that everyone who rides with you knows these rules and practices, too, and if someone new is riding with you (especially a novice), make sure they get properly trained before hitting the road.