16 Do’s and Don’ts When Traveling Behind Motorcycles in Illinois

Motorcycles in Illinois

In Illinois, we share the road with all kinds of vehicles. One of the most popular vehicles in our state is the motorcycle. In fact, of all 50 US states, Illinois has the tenth most motorcycle registrations filed as of 2021. With 312,956 bikes here, it’s important that all drivers know the do’s and don’ts of sharing the road.

Even with all the best tips, motorcycle accidents still happen. If you are injured in a Chicago motorcycle accident through no fault of your own, reach out to a Chicago injury lawyer at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys. Call us at 708-222-2222 to connect with an Illinois motorcycle injury lawyer today.

Safely Sharing the Road When Traveling Behind Motorcycles in Illinois

It’s of utmost importance that every driver on Illinois roads does their best to avoid motorcycle accidents. Here are some tips to help ensure everyone’s safety while traveling behind a motorcycle.

  1. DO increase your following distance. This means any driver of a vehicle following a motorcycle should slow down just enough to build a cushion of space between themselves and the motorcycle ahead of them.
  2. DON’T tailgate. While a rear-end impact to a car may lead to a little bump and minor damage, a rear-end motorcycle accident can turn fatal. This is especially true if the driver is not wearing a helmet. The rider may be thrown forward, and even off of the bike.
  3. DO watch for the motorcycle’s blinkers or hand turn signals. Motorcycles can move more swiftly than other vehicles, so a change in traffic may happen right after the driver gives a signal.
  4. DON’T fail to use your own blinker. Even while traveling behind a motorcycle, it’s best to keep the entire roadway safe.
  5. DO remember that some turn signals on motorcycles do not turn off on their own after a turn. Keep an eye on any signaling motorcycle that hasn’t changed direction. Meanwhile, give them a wide berth.
  6. DON’T pass a motorcycle without caution, especially if their turn signal has been on for a while. They may be about to make a lane change. You don’t want to be in their way when they do.
  7. DO pass motorcycles at a typical speed. Anything faster and you may startle the rider, or reach an unsafe speed yourself.
  8. DON’T share a lane with a motorcycle. This is extremely dangerous for both the car and the motorcycle. Furthermore, it’s good to note that lane splitting (when a motorcycle cuts in between lanes of traffic) isn’t only bad advice. It is actually illegal according to Illinois motorcycle laws.
  9. DO give groups of motorcycle riders space on the road. By riding in a group, these bikers will do things like pass cars one at a time, and spread across lanes in formation. They will also signal to each other when something is about to change. Keep an eye on them, and increase your following distance. 
  10. DON’T attempt to split the group of riders, even if there is a space in between that you believe is large enough for your vehicle. Groups of motorcyclists often look to one leader, and if they are unable to see that rider, they may lose their group. It is also much more likely that you will miss seeing a bike in your blind spot as you merge.
  11. DO increase your following distance if you encounter a motorcycle at night. Motorcycle rides are much more dangerous once the sun goes down. Give them extra space, and you will have more of a warning if they stop.
  12. DON’T turn your high beams on while driving behind a motorcycle at night. High beams can momentarily blind a rider from their rearview mirror reflection.
  13. DO avoid passing a motorcycle if it is dark outside. Again, this is for everyone’s safety, as visibility has decreased in the evening hours. 
  14. DON’T ignore erratic behavior. A motorcycle that is swerving, driving into opposing lanes of traffic, speeding way above the limit, or driving much too slow may be showing signs of alcohol or drug impairment. Also, watch out for any signs of road rage.
  15. DO try to remember the motorcycle’s license plate number if you notice reckless behavior. Also, take note of their route, and report to authorities if necessary. 
  16. DON’T try to stop reckless behavior by driving close to the motorcycle, yelling from your vehicle, or other actions that may put both of you in danger. If necessary, reach a safe spot, stop, and call the police.

These rules of the road are intended to not only keep motorcyclists safe, but also passenger vehicles. There were 36,508 fatal motor vehicle fatalities in 2021. 1,210 of these were in Illinois. 6,084 fatalities were motorcyclists. 176 of these happened here, too. By following Illinois traffic laws, and being courteous to each other, we can all fight to lower this number.  

| Related article: Use These Safety Tips for Motorcycle Driving 

What Can Happen If I’m in a Motorcycle Accident?

Illinois motorcycle laws

Even when the best driving practices are in use, accidents can happen. Motorcycle accidents can be especially devastating, and may cause life-changing catastrophic injury. These injuries cause physical and emotional pain. Treatment results in mounting financial losses. Costs of replacement vehicles, your lost wages, and the loss of your normal life can put further pressure on you and your family while you struggle to recover. 

The award-winning team at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys may be able to help. A motorcycle injury attorney in Chicago can assess the details of your accident, determine the strength of your case, and collect the necessary evidence to fight for your compensation. We may be able to win you maximum financial compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries.

Seek Out a Motorcycle Injury Attorney in Chicago

In a motorcycle wreck and need a check? Make one call to Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys to connect with an experienced Illinois motorcycle injury lawyer at 708-222-2222. You’ll receive a completely FREE, no obligation case review. Our representatives are available 24/7, so reach out as soon as you need us.

Besides making that one phone call, you can also connect through our LiveChat feature, or by filling out our online form. Don’t delay finding financial compensation any longer after your motorcycle accident. We have recovered billions of dollars for our clients over the last 32 years. Reach out to Lerner and Rowe today to find out what our team can do for you.

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.