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Maryland motorcyclist killed after being hit by passing car

When drivers are following the rules of the road and being mindful of their surroundings, riding a motorcycle is often a safe and enjoyable experience. However, Maryland motorcyclists should know that there are risks. For one motorcyclist, these risks recently became all too real.

A soldier from Hagerstown, Maryland, was killed in a motorcycle accident when a car attempted to pass a vehicle on the highway and struck the soldier's motorcycle instead. The motorcycle slid under one of the vehicles, which then caught on fire.

Since motorcyclists are at an elevated risk of serious injury in an accident, it is important to know how to protect yourself. A motorcyclist's first line of defense is preventing accidents from happening in the first place. Since many motorcycle accidents happen because other drivers are unaware of the motorcyclist, taking steps to be seen and heard when driving your motorcycle are critical.

Other steps motorcyclists can take to protect themselves include:

• Regularly check your motorcycle's maintenance

• Be mindful of your surroundings at all times

• Always wear a helmet, eye protection, and proper clothing

• Never position your motorcycle in a car or truck's blind spot

• Always keep a safe distance away from other vehicles

• Be particularly careful when turning at intersections

• Wear bright clothes, especially when driving at dusk or nighttime

If you are injured in an accident, there are several things you can do. You may be able to receive legal compensation for economic damages, pain and suffering, or more. The most crucial thing is to know your legal rights, as many motorcyclists' accidents occur through no fault of their own.

Source: The Record Herald, "Hagerstown soldier Christiaan Bush killed in motorcycle crash in Georgia," Rachel Bryson, Feb. 10, 2012

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