Six Safety Tips to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents in Illinois

Illinois motorcycle safety

According to statistics from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), 136 people died in Illinois motorcycle accidents in 2019. 

Whether you’re a novice just getting your license or an experienced motorcyclist, knowing how to ride safely can mean the difference between enjoying the best motorcycle rides in Illinois and becoming another statistic. 

In honor of National Motorcycle Safety Month, the personal injury lawyers at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys have compiled these six essential Illinois motorcycle safety tips.

#1: Wear the Right Protective Gear

Illinois is one of the few states in the U.S. in which motorcycle helmets are not legally required. Although it’s not required by law, Illinois motorcycle safety experts say that wearing a helmet is critical to preventing traumatic brain injuries and even death in the event of a crash. At the bare minimum, licensed riders are required to wear appropriate eye protection such as goggles or glasses. 

Helmets protect your head and face, but to protect the rest of your body from injuries like road rash, you’ll want to invest in motorcycle safety wear like a protective jacket, gloves, durable pants, boots, and appropriate rain gear.

#2: Maintain Your Motorcycle

Always make sure that your bike is in good working order before each ride. Check your headlights, brakelights, turn signals, and tire pressure before every ride. Get into the habit of checking your tire treads at least weekly for signs of wear, and don’t wait until your tires go bald before replacing them. 

In addition, top up and change the oil on a regular basis, clean your air filter, check your battery, and have your engine and brakes serviced as recommended by a professional.

#3: Ride Defensively

Practicing defensive driving is important for all motorists, but it is especially critical for motorcyclists, who have much less protection than the average vehicle. For riders, this means assuming that most traffic is unable to see you and being ready to react quickly to changing conditions. Luckily, motorcyclists do have the advantage of being able to maneuver between lanes and other vehicles more easily.

Although confidence is important, aggressive driving can be dangerous. Remember, if it comes down to you and another car or truck, the bigger vehicle will almost always win out. Let these cars pass you if needed and keep yourself safe.

Finally, always keep an eye out for road hazards such as sand, potholes, and debris left by other vehicles, including oil slicks.

#4: Don’t Ride Impaired

Never ride a motorcycle after drinking or ingesting drugs. Alcohol can seriously reduce your reaction time and hand-eye coordination. Lowered inhibitions after drinking or taking drugs can also lead to more risky behaviors like speeding. All of these effects put you at a higher risk of being involved in an accident.

#5: Avoid Distractions

Illinois motorcycle safety

Like all other motorists, motorcyclists need to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Even something as innocuous as texting at a stoplight can put your life at risk if you don’t have time to react to changing traffic conditions. Don’t listen to your music too loudly, and if you are riding with a passenger, keep conversation to a minimum while you’re on the road.

#6: Stay Sharp With Illinois Motorcycle Safety Courses

Whether you are a new driver or have been riding for decades, motorcycle safety courses are a great way to learn new skills or brush up on old ones. Several companies in Chicago and throughout the state offer free motorcycle safety programs that help riders fine-tune their skills and decrease their risks of accidents. In some cases, these courses may even lower the cost of your Illinois motorcycle insurance.

Check out our blog for more tips on motorcycle safety and legal resources in Illinois.

What To Do If You’re Injured on Your Motorcycle

If you’ve been injured while riding your motorcycle because of another driver, contact the Chicago motorcycle accident lawyers at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys. Our experienced legal team offers free consultations and you don’t pay us unless we make a recovery on your behalf. 

Find out more about the compensation that may be available to you by calling 708-222-2222, by using our LiveChat feature, or by sending us the details of your case through our contact form.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.