If you regularly ride a motorcycle, you know how thrilling the experience can be. After all, few things are better than leaving the grind of everyday life behind to explore Texas behind the handlebars of a cruiser, sportbike or vintage motorcycle. Still, a motorcycle crash may leave you with long-term injuries.

In 2017, nearly 500 motorcycle riders lost their lives on Texas roadways. Because your motorcycle does not have the same safety features as passenger vehicles, you are at an increased risk of sustaining a serious injury or dying every time you ride. Still, your chances of injury may be higher at certain times.

Weekend evenings are dangerous

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than half of motorcycle accidents in the United States occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. on weekends. As such, if you ride on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you may need to exercise additional caution to stay safe on your motorcycle.

Older riders are at risk

Logic may indicate that younger riders have a greater likelihood of sustaining a life-threatening injury in a motorcycle collision. That is, you may believe that a lack of experience may cause young adults to have more motorcycle accidents than their older counterparts. The statistics say something different, though. In fact, the NHTSA reports that more than half of motorcycle accidents involve riders who are over the age of 40.

Protective gear helps

You cannot control the actions of other motorists. You can, however, boost your odds of surviving a motorcycle crash. While the Lone Star State does not have a broad requirement that riders wear helmets, donning protective gear may keep your head, neck and vital organs safe in a collision.

To stay safe on your bike, you must practice some defensive riding. You should also know when and how motorcycle accidents often occur. With a bit of knowledge and the right gear, you can reach your destination without sustaining a serious injury.