If you are one of the thousands of motorcycle riders in Illinois, odds are that you have been patiently waiting spring’s arrival so you can get back outdoors and back onto your bike. Maybe the last few weeks have given you an opportunity to already do some riding, taking advantage of the warming weather and increasingly-present sun, or maybe you are still holding off until the final few days of 40 degree weather are finally gone before you take to the road.
Whatever you plans are, know that motorcycle season is rapidly approaching in Chicago and if you are thinking about participating, you should also give some thought to safety precautions before you ride:
- Get a Tune Up: Make sure you get your bike serviced, especially if it has been sitting all winter and the engine has not been run. Have a trained mechanic go over your bike to make sure it is in proper working order and that all safety devices, like the brakes, are functioning at optimal levels. The middle of an unexpected traffic situation is not time for you to learn that your bike is struggling with its pickup or that the brakes are sluggish.
- Wear a Helmet: When it comes to safety, not all helmets are the same. Before you ride, make sure you select and actually wear a helmet that is approved by the Department of Transportation. These helmets will carry a sticker or a seal to the effect that they are DOT approved, allowing you to know that they have been tested by the federal government and that they meet minimum safety requirements. Avoid decorative helmets that are not designed with safety in mind but instead are only designed to look good as these will not help you as much as DOT approved helmets in the event of a motorcycle accident.
- Refresh Your Skills: Whether it has been just a little while since you got your license or decades, it is a good idea to refresh your knowledge about motorcycle safety and operating your bike. Many communities in the greater Chicago area offer motorcycle safety courses that can be taken by novice riders as well as those with a greater deal of experience, and even if you think you know everything, it is still worth your while to take one of these courses on occasion to ensure you are up to date on any new or changing laws and safety procedures.
- Drive Defensively: While it is your right to ride on the streets and roadways of our great state, the unfortunate reality is that many vehicular drivers do not notice or watch for bikers. Plan for this inaction on the part of others by driving defensively, anticipating potential pitfalls before they arise and avoiding any incidents whenever possible.
- Avoid Bad Weather: The forecast calls for many nice days in the near future but it is possible for inclement weather to still set in, and rain is a possibility at this time of year as well. Riding in bad weather is dangerous for a biker so your best bet is to avoid any issues by leaving the bike at home if the weather is not dry and clear.
The personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. hope that you are able to enjoy this spring and summer motorcycle season while staying safe and free from accidents. However, if the unthinkable occurs and you are injured, know that we will be standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call and to help you understand your legal rights by providing you with a case consultation. There is no cost or obligation for speaking with us and everything discussed during the consultation will be kept confidential so do not hesitate to call us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 now.
Prior Blog Entry:
Automatic Braking Will Be Standard by 2022, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published March 18, 2016.