As a motorcycle rider, you must be vigilant all the time. Those with whom you share the road cannot always see you. For one thing, you might be partial to black, both in your bike and in your choice of apparel, and black is simply not that easy to see. If you make a few changes, you will stand out, enjoy your ride and live to tell about it.

Data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that in 2014, 4,586 motorcycle riders died in crashes across the country. Here are five tips to make your ride safer so you can keep from becoming a statistic.

1. Wear a helmet. This should be an obvious choice, but in some parts of the country, motorcyclists are not required to wear helmets. Keep in mind that they do save lives.

2. Wear high-visibility clothing. Visually speaking, a motorcycle rider only takes up about as much space as the bike itself. You will draw the attention of other drivers by wearing high-visibility yellow or orange.

3. Apply reflective tape. Increase the visual footprint of your motorcycle after dark. Put reflective tape on your forks, the edges of your panniers or along the top rim of your windscreen.

4. Tap your brakes. Draw the attention of anyone traveling behind you. Tap your brakes rapidly. This simple, attention-getting action turns your brake light into a big blinker.

5. Steer clear of blind spots. Be proactive. Speed up a little or fall behind a bit, but do not remain in the blind spot of the vehicle next to you. Try to maneuver into a lane position where everyone can see you.

If the unexpected happens

You are careful not to outride your skills or underestimate your capabilities. As a motorcycle rider, you may feel you are doing everything you can to ensure your own safety, but there is no way to be prepared for the totally unexpected accident. If this should happen, you will probably not escape unscathed. Reach out for legal advice and assistance as soon as you can. An experienced personal injury attorney is standing by to help.