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Illinois Drivers: Avoid Preventable Accidents with Motorcycles

With the warm weather upon us, motorcyclists are excited to get back out on the open road. As the number of motorcycle owners has reached the millions, it has become a common pastime not only in Illinois, but across the country. But what does that mean for the rest of us? All vehicle owners travel more when the weather improves, not motorcyclists alone. Motorcycle safety is not only important for motorcycle drivers but for the remaining drivers who share the road with these vehicles. The large portion of the Illinois population operates motor vehicles and should be reminded of the importance of a focused drive on the road.

According to an article by NBC News, approximately 360,000 motorcycles were on the road in 2014 in Illinois, and over 8 million in the United States. Unfortunately, a leisurely activity that is supposed to be enjoyed by individuals can be life threatening. Motorcycle drivers are 37 times more likely to die in an accident than in car accidents according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. There are a number of ways that these tragedies can be avoided and reduced by all drivers on the road.

Cellphone use while driving is a growing concern for motorcyclists and others drivers alike. We all believe that we can handle the multitasking of driving while checking our constantly updating social media feeds, or texting our friends and family. But even that quick action taken results in distractions on the road. Safe driving should be everyone’s first priority, not to be updated on the whereabouts of your friends. Those updates can all wait, when the driver is risking putting themselves and others in danger. Some may believe that hands-free or a Bluetooth connection is the answer. But even creating the connection between your cellphone and the Bluetooth receiver in the car is a form of distraction, taking your focus from the road. Is it worth potentially creating damage to your car and being liable for the other vehicle owner’s damage, or in this case, the safety of a motorcyclist’s life? Focus is the key to safety.

Another important reminder for motorcycle drivers is to always wear a safety helmet. This piece of equipment could mean the difference in your life. Although there is no law specifically stating that motorcycle drivers in the state of Illinois must wear a helmet, it is something you should never leave the house without. It is the safe and responsible choice, and it has been effective in saving lives and preventing serious brain injuries. When a motorcycle gets hit, the chances of the driver getting knocked off the bike are great. Having in mind a motorcycle exposes the rider to a much greater extent than a car driver or passenger; the risks of injury are greater as well. Considering these risks, a helmet is a simple addition to your daily ride but with significant benefits.

Motorcycle driving is a great leisurely activity that promotes a stress-free and relaxing environment. However, it is important to recognize the safety precautions that both drivers and motorcyclists should take. Our attorneys support this hobby during the developing beautiful weather but remind readers to be aware of the increase of motorcyclists on the road. Although accidents do happen, by making a conscious effort to drive safely and watch out for motorcyclists you can help decrease the number of preventable motorcycle accidents caused by negligence.