Follow safety rules riding a motorcycle

Motorcycles can be a fun mode of transportation. And with gas prices spiking, they can save you money.

But you need to take precautions. AAA says motorcycle deaths have nearly doubled in the past five years in North Carolina. Here are some tips for staying safe:

Before you even consider riding a motorcycle, take a basic state-approved course. Even though I've been riding for more than 22 years, I take an advanced course every few years to keep my skills sharp.

Always wear protective clothing, including long pants, snug-fitting shoes/boots, gloves and a full-face helmet. Make sure your helmet fits properly/snugly; there should be little movement from side to side. Pack the shorts and put them on when you arrive at your destination.

Before heading out, inspect the bike for any obvious problems (e.g., soft tires).

While riding, always know how you'll react if another vehicle gets in your way.

Alcohol and motorcycles do not mix. EVER.