If you ride a motorcycle, you probably already know that you are at higher risk for a serious crash injury than others on the road. According to federal data reported by the Insurance Information Institute, bikers suffered about 88,000 injuries and more than 5,000 fatalities in 2015 alone.

Protect yourself when traveling on two wheels by reviewing these safety tips for motorcyclists.

Wear the right gear

If a car or truck collides with your motorcycle, a properly fitted helmet approved by the Department of Transportation can lower your risk for a traumatic brain injury. Although a helmet is your most important piece of protective gear, you should also wear motorcycle gloves and boots. Shield your arms and legs with leather.

Abide by traffic laws

In Ohio, motorcycle riders must follow the same regulations as car and truck operators. Avoid speeding, which can significantly contribute to the likelihood of a serious crash. Although Ohio law does not specifically prohibit lane splitting (riding between two lanes), doing so is dangerous. However, you can ride with two bikers side-by-side in the same lane.

Know how to handle your bike

If you are a novice when it comes to motorcycles, take a DOT-approved rider education course. Get plenty of practice on your bike in various road and weather conditions before you head out on the highway or on busy streets. Choose a motorcycle that is light enough for you to handle easily and make sure you can stand with both feet on the ground and reach the controls easily. Investing in anti-lock brakes substantially reduces your risk of a fatal crash.

Drive defensively

Leave plenty of following distance from cars and trucks and stay out of the blind spots of nearby vehicles. Take particular care when entering an intersection, where many motorcycle collisions occur.

Although riding a motorcycle is a fun, environmentally friendly way to travel, it does carry injury risks. Always keep safety in mind on your bike.