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7 Things Drivers Need to Know About Motorcycles

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May has been declared as Motorcycle Awareness Month in Illinois for the 34th consecutive year. The Illinois Department of Transportation and Governor Bruce Rauner launched the annual Start Seeing Motorcycles campaign. Nicer weather means that motorcycles are starting to hit the road more which means a higher level of awareness is important.

The following is very helpful information when driving with other motorcycles on the road.

  1. More than half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve a vehicle and the ones that are at fault are the cars or trucks.
  2. Blind spots are an issue with all vehicles, more so with motorcycles due to their size. They can also be hidden by objects such as other cars, fences, or trailers. When changing lanes or turning intersections, make sure to take an extra second or two, look out for motorcycles.
  3. Again due to its size, it is hard to judge the speed of a motorcycle as well as how far it is. Keep in mind that it's actually closer than it is and wait for it to pass you on the road.
  4. Most motorcyclists don't press the brake to slow down. That means you don't know if the motorcycle is keeping the same speed, slowing down, or speeding up. Most of the time they just downshift or roll of the shuttle. That means that you must assume that the motorcyclist is slowing down without any warning.
  5. Although the stopping distance for motorcycles is about the same as cars, they do have two less tires for breaking. When stopping behind a motorcycle make sure to keep a bit more distance than you normally would for a car. Especially if the roads are slippery.
  6. You need to be vigilant while driving regardless, but even more so when there are motorcycles on the road. Keep hands on the wheel and minimize distractions.
  7. Don't drive while tired or under the influence. It's harder to see and anticipate motorcyclists while all senses are on alert let alone while you're falling asleep at the wheel or under the influence.

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If you see a motorcyclist on the side of the road, make sure to slow down and change to the lane farthest away from them if possible. If they require emergency help, call the authorities.

Share this with friends and family, one casualty is one too many.

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