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Motorcycles are a popular way to get around. While they only account for 3 percent of all vehicles on the road, there are many people who are loyal biking enthusiasts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes a significant rise in motorcycle-related crashes and deaths from 2011 to 2016. Motorcycle fatalities account for 13 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities.

Every state passes motorcycle laws to keep motorcyclists safe on roads and highways. Knowing the laws in West Virginia before you decide to purchase that new hog is essential.

1. Helmet

West Virginia is one of 28 states that require the use of a helmet while operating a motorcycle. The NTSB has clearly stated its position that wearing a helmet while riding on a motorcycle is the primary preventative action you can take. Make sure you have a helmet that meets the federal guidelines to maximize protection.

2. Lane splitting

Lane splitting is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents. In this practice, which is legal in some states, a motorcyclist may go in between lanes to avoid traffic. One of the hazards to this practice is entering a motor vehicle's blind spot. When in this blind spot, it is impossible for drivers to see you. Lane splitting is against the law in West Virginia.

3. Passenger safety

Taking your motorcycle out on a beautiful weekend morning with your beloved sitting behind you can make the trip even more fun. West Virginia law requires the use of a passenger seat and footrest if you are transporting someone else on your adventure. State regulations require passengers to don helmets, and data from the NTSB suggests passenger safety increases with the regular use of one.

Motorcycles are an adventurer's dream mode of transport. When taking to the open road on your dream bike, be sure to follow the rules and keep yourself and your passenger safe along the way. If you sustain an injury due to someone else's negligence, you may be able to obtain compensation for the damages you suffer.

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