Holiday weekends mean more traffic, and the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) is reminding riders to practice caution and stay sober. An average of 122 people died in traffic crashes on July 4 each year from 2011 to 2015, with alcohol consumption and excessive speed the leading factors in those deadly crashes.”Many people will be extending their weekend through the July 4 holiday on Tuesday this year,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman in a statement. “While we take this time to revel in the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, it is vital to remember that the celebrations start after you arrive at your destination. When you are behind the wheel or astride your motorcycle, your focus must be on arriving safely.”Because of the increase in traffic over the holiday weekend, motorcyclists in particular should exercise extra caution on the roads while traveling to and from their celebrations. “Remain alert, drive sober and watch for motorcyclists,” Dingman said. “Motorists and motorcyclists alike should leave extra space between their vehicles and those nearby, take an extra look before changing lanes or making a left turn and reduce your speed for extra safety. We want everyone to enjoy the holiday and to arrive safely at their destinations.”The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) recommends the following personal protective equipment to be worn each time a rider hits the road:Helmet: Helmets are the important piece of protective gear. It protects against head injury, windblast, cold and flying objects. The MSF recommends a full-face helmet.Faceshield: This protects against flying objects such as stones, insects and debris.Gloves: Gloves keep hands comfortable and protects riders from road rash and other injuries.Jacket and Pants: Long sleeves and sturdy pants will protect riders from abrasion and exposure to the sun and weather. Clothing should be reflective at night.Boots: The proper footwear will provide sufficient grip on footrests and road surfaces. The right boots also will help prevent foot and ankle injuries.
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