WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) – As the weather warms up, more and more motorcyclists are going to be out on the roads. We all need to drive carefully.

Every year, May offers that reminder as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

Not surprisingly, one of the top motorcycle safety tips from the pros at the Motorcycle Safety School in West Seneca is to wear a helmet. It’s required by law in New York State and it could save your life.

“I would hate to know what would happen to somebody if they had a motorcycle accident without wearing a helmet. Obviously, it’s a very important thing” said Motorcycle Safety School rider coach David Paplow. “Even slow speed, accidents happen where people can bump their head on the motorcycle or the ground or both. And we want to protect our head. You only get one.”

The importance of helmets is one of the first lessons for every student taking a Basic RiderCourse at the Motorcycle Safety School. It’s a two day or two-and-a-half day course to teach the fundamentals to prepare you to take your test for your license and be ready to hit the road.

MORE | Click here for New York State Motorcyclist Safety Program’s Basic RiderCourse information.

The West Seneca site is one of seven locations for Motorcycle Safety School, Inc. across New York State, and it’s the only one in the state built specifically as a riding school. Every year, thousands of students learn the ropes on the school’s motorcycles or their own, if they have one.News 4’s Katie Alexander spent a morning at the Motorcycle Safety School in West Seneca learning the basics. Watch the videos below to see how her lessons went.

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Before Wednesday, Katie had only ever ridden on the back of a motorcycle with someone else driving. By the end of her mini-sessions with an instructor, she was able to ride with her feet up.

By the end of one of the real Basic RiderCourses offered by the school, students can drive away with their licenses and a nice discount on their auto insurance rates to boot.

Paplow says he loves watching the transformation for new riders, who come in with no experience and drive away at the end with confidence in their skills. “I think it’s a pleasure – it’s a privilege, actually – to have this job and take people through the steps learning how to ride a motorcycle,” he said.

Riding a motorcycle can certainly be a lot of fun, but it’s also a big responsibility for the rider. Safety has to be the top priority. “It’s all about the defensive driving,” Paplow said.

“Wear all the gear all the time, take it slow, pay attention and ride within your means,” he added.

If you’d like to learn more about learning to ride with the Motorcycle Safety School instructors, click here.