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Angelo Patacca - motorcycleFlorida motor­cycle accident lawyer and safety expert, Angelo Patacca, appeared on WJXT’s Morning Show to discuss safety gear that motor­cy­clists could use to help make them more visible — and safe — on the roadways.

He said the most common accidents with motor­cycles are where drivers don’t see motor­cy­clists and pull out in front of them at an inter­section. One way to reduce the risk of an accident is for motor­cy­clists to make themselves conspicuous or visible with safety equipment.

He recom­mended wearing high visibility or “high-viz” yellow or orange clothing that helps motor­cy­clists stand out. High-viz vests, jackets, helmets and gloves are readily available online, at motor­cycle shops and even at hardware stores. Firefighters, police officers and landscapers often take advantage of the benefits of wearing high-viz clothing to be seen on the road.

Eye protection, a DOT-compliant helmet, gloves and a padded jacket and pants will also protect motor­cy­clists in accidents.

Angelo stressed the impor­tance of wearing motor­cycle gloves because motor­cy­clists’ first instinct in a fall is to use their hands to brace for impact with the ground. At almost any traveling speed — without the protection of gloves — hands and fingers are easily and painfully injured.

Jackets and pants made of synthetic material or leather that contain padding in the back, elbows, shoulders and knees offer vital impact and skin protection in case of a fall. Without the protection of helmets, gloves, jackets, pants and boots, motor­cy­clists risk signif­icant impact and road rash injuries.

When it comes to motor­cycles, he suggested adding reflectors and auxiliary lights that make motor­cy­clists more visible. Angelo discussed the “triangle of light” on the front of his motor­cycle. It’s created by adding two auxiliary lights well below the headlight on either side of the forks creating a triangle of light which in turn provides increased visibility to oncoming traffic.

While safety equipment reduces risk, it cannot eliminate one of the biggest threats motor­cy­clists face: distracted driving, especially those who are texting while driving. Driving defen­sively and getting away from distracted drivers are the only ways to mitigate that danger.