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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.