Now that the calendar has officially turned to September, the thought of fall and cooler weather is on the minds of many who call Chicago home. Though temperatures are supposed to reach the 90s today in the city and though Labor Day is still to come, it is hard to ignore the signs of fall descending upon Illinois, leaving its mark as a tree here or there begins to turn and as students begin the process of going back to school.
For those who ride motorcycles, fall can present its own unique challenges, most of them weather-related. When you live in Chicago, you know that temperatures can fluctuate dramatically in a matter of days – sometimes even in a matter of hours. A cool front can come through and bring with it unseasonably cold weather that can lead a bike ride to go from pleasant to uncomfortable. While many still choose to ride in colder weather, there can be issues that all riders should be aware of during fall:
– Expect a change in driving habits: Chicago has a significant shift in the motorists that drive the streets between summertime and fall. In summer, the city is rife with tourists, many of whom are unfamiliar with city streets and the layouts of the expressways. This can increase the level of confusion among drivers on the road at any given time and lead to car accidents or collisions with motorcycles. As fall arrives, tourist slows down somewhat but does not disappear. Instead, more school-related traffic fills the roads as parents rush to get their children to class on time. Be prepared for a change in the habits of motorists and expect others around you to drive dangerously. Expecting the unexpected can enable you to avoid a motorcycle accident and avoid any injuries that may have resulted from one.
– Anticipate a quick drop in temperatures: The weather turns in Chicago without much warning and temperatures soon will reach freezing overnight. If you plan to continue riding, make sure your bike is properly prepared for the winter season by ensuring that proper gasoline is in the tank and that a tune up, if necessary, is performed on the bike. Keeping a motorcycle in optimum condition is a good way to avoid issues that can lead to bigger problems down the road, potentially causing collisions.
– Dress for comfort and for safety: Along the same lines as keeping your bike ready for cooler weather, remember to prepare yourself for those fall temperatures as well. Dress in layers if necessary and consider making your top layer something that offers protection from the wind. However, keep in mind that you should not sacrifice safety for comfort and therefore anti-skid clothing and other road protection should still be utilized.
– Never assume that a driver will yield to you: One of the biggest threats to bikers in Chicago continues to be the fact that drivers of cars, trucks, and buses do not respect the rights of those who ride and instead act in a dangerous or negligent manner when a biker is near. Though these actions are against the law, a smart biker will be prepared for them and will never assume that a motorist will yield. Instead, wait until you are confident that you can proceed safely before entering an intersection or otherwise crossing a path of traffic, thereby limiting the odds of being involved in a crash.
The personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. hope that if you ride a motorcycle, you are safe and that you get to enjoy your bike without incident. But if the unthinkable happens and you are involved in a crash, know that we will be standing by to help you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We offer all those who were injured in a traffic accident a free, no-obligation case consultation when they call us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and we will keep everything discussed during the consultation confidential. If we represent you in your case, we will never charge you a fee unless we successfully make a recovery on your behalf and we will advance all case-related expenses.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we have been helping bikers get the relief they deserve for years and we are ready to help you do the same. Call us now so that your rights are protected and so that you can move forward with your case and your claim.
Prior Blog Entry:
Rear-End Car Accident on I-80 Leaves Two Hurt, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published September 1, 2015.