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Motorcycle season is fast-approaching in Missouri

The weather is finally beginning to warm up in Kansas City after a long and cold winter, which means that many anxious motorcycle riders will finally be taking their bikes out of storage and hitting the open road.

However, with an increase in motorcycles on the roads will also come an increase in motorcycle accidents. For that reason, motorcycle riders and other motorists will need to exercise caution, especially since motorists have not had to share the roadways with motorcyclists for several months.

As we reported in an article on motorcycle accident fatalities on our website, the number of fatal motorcycle accidents has been higher than usual in the U.S. over the past few years, with more than 5,000 motorcyclists losing their lives in accidents in 2012 alone.

These accidents are often caused by motorists who violate the right-of-way of motorcyclists, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That's why the federal safety group has been promoting campaigns that urge motorists to share the roads with motorcyclists.

Additionally, a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association indicated that there are two main factors that are linked to the rate of motorcycle fatalities: the number of motorcyclists on the roads and how safe the motorcycle travel is.

After a long winter, it is likely that Kansas City drivers will notice a surge of motorcyclists on the roads in coming months which is why everyone -- motorists and motorcyclists alike -- has a duty to put safety first.

For motorcyclists, that means always wearing a helmet, following speed limits and other traffic laws, and taking training courses. For motorists, that means always being on the lookout for motorcyclists, giving motorcycles plenty of space on the roads and using proper signals.

Because next month has been designated as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month by the NHTSA, you can expect to hear more about motorcycle safety and accident prevention in coming weeks.

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