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Motorcycle Safety Tips

Spring seems to be approaching faster than expected. This means more motorcycles will be out on the road. In fact, with the random spurts of warm weather, many have already seen motorcycles hitting the streets earlier than expected. Drivers and other motorists should be aware of motorcycles and the increased risk of injuries that riders of motorcycles face. Unfortunately, an Illinois resident recently died as a result of a motorcycle accident.

What Happened?

In late January, two men who were both riding motorcycles were involved in an accident on a Saturday evening. Both riders were headed southbound when the rider of one motorcycle lost control and hit the Illinois man. The man from Illinois was not wearing a safety device, but the riders on the other motorcycle were wearing safety devices. All riders were rushed to the hospital, but unfortunately, the Illinois man suffered fatal injuries.

How Can You Prevent Motorcycle Accidents?

Motorcycle riders can prevent getting into an accident. Motorcycles arguably have more to worry about than other drivers since they are usually more exposed than drivers of automobiles. Take these motorcycle safety tips:

  • Know your motorcycle before you start riding it.
  • Use a helmet even if you think it does not make you look cool.
  • Use eye protection and face protection that is free of scratches, resistant to penetration, gives you a clear view, and fastens securely to your head.
  • Always do a pre-ride check to make sure everything is in working order.
  • Drive defensively by riding as if you are invisible to other drivers.
  • Watch out for slippery spots in the road such as oil spills.
  • Cover your breaks if there is a potential hazard.
  • Take a motorcycle safety course as it could save your life.
  • Prepare for anything.

How Can Cars Help Motorcycles?

Several things make roads safer for motorcylces for cars.

  • Allow a lot of following distance between you and the motorcycle, about three or four seconds.
  • Sometimes a rider forgets to turn off his or her turn signal because they are usually not self-cancelling. Be aware of this.
  • Motorcycles usually adjust positions in a lane to avoid objects in the road or to minimize the effects of wind, not to show off, so be aware of this.
  • Motorcycles are small and sometimes not very noisy, so always check your blind spot and other places where a motorcycle could be.
  • Slippery pavement makes stopping distance for motorcycles farther than usual, so allow for motorcycles to have more stopping distance in case the pavement is slippery.
  • Know that motorcycles are a little more difficult to operate when there is a passenger on the motorcycle, so be aware of this.

Should I Take a Motorcycle Safety Course?

One of the best ways to learn how to correctly operate a motorcycle is to take a class on operating motorcycles.

  • Gain confidence and increase motorcycle safety.
  • Riders will increase their skills by learning from professionals.
  • Riders will become better and safer motorcycle riders.
  • The roads will be safer for other riders and drivers.
  • Completion of the course could lead to insurance discounts.

Share the Roads!

With the nice weather approaching, more pedestrians, motorcycles, and other vehicles will be sharing the road, so always be aware of this. One very important thing that all drivers can do is be aware of our surroundings at all times. This becomes complicated with modern technology making it easier to be distracted while operating a vehicle, but it is important for everyone to be focused on the road.

R.F. Wittmeyer

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