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      Keeping safe while riding

      Now that mother nature finally decided to send us some warmer weather, it's motorcycle season here in the Upper Peninsula.

      That also means everyone on the road needs to be aware of bikers.

      "When you start to assume that other drivers can see you on a motorcycle, that's when you're going to find the unexpected particularly at intersections or other areas where there's a lot of traffic," said Sgt. Kevin Dowling, Michigan State Police Negaunee post.

      The helmet law has changed over the last couple of years in Michigan.

      If you do not want to wear a helmet, you must be 21 years of age or older.

      You must also have at least two years riding experience, or you must have completed a motorcycle safety course.

      "It is a personal choice, and my personal choice is to wear a helmet. Working at the dealership there is the element where you do see some motorcycle accidents from time to time and I know that in certain situations a helmet would greatly improve their odds. However, it is their decision. But my decision is to wear one because I think it's a safer way to go," said Brian Emigh, Sales & Business Manager at Bald Eagle Harley-Davidson.

      "We certainly recommend wearing a crash helmet when you're operating a motorcycle. It's going to give you the maximum amount of protection if you are involved in a collision or if the bike goes down. You're certainly going to have a definite advantage over someone who's not wearing a helmet," said Sgt. Dowling.

      Bald Eagle employees say many of the helmets these days are much more comfortable to wear.

      Most are vented for air flow, and are light weight.

      If you do decide to wear a helmet, there's a different kind for everyone. There's the half helmet, the three-quarter helmet, and the full-face helmet, which is actually also a modular helmet with a full-face shield.

      Motorcyclists have to follow the same rules of the road as drivers of passenger vehicles.

      But motorcycles are smaller vehicles and tend to blend in with cars, so everyone needs to be extra cautious when driving.

      Some other safety tips for motorcyclists are to take your time, check your lane position, be aware of other drivers that may or may not see you, and always have a way out of every situation.