As the sun begins to shine in Chicago and the summer approaches, more and more motorcyclists are getting out on the road and enjoying the nice weather. According to Cyber Drive Illinois, there are about 344,000 thousand motorcycles on the road in Illinois. While this can be a great hobby for many, it is crucial to remember to always take all necessary safety precautions to ensure that both the motorcycle driver and everyone else on the road stay safe. Among the safety measures all motorcycles should take, no one should every drive a motorcycle if they do not have a permit or a special license to operate the motorcycle. In order to obtain a permit or license, certain rules must be learned and a test has to be passed. This helps ensure that all drivers know the safety laws for operating motorcycles in Illinois. One rule that many people may not know is that motorcyclists have to follow the same traffic laws as drivers of passenger cars, and that motorcycles may not pass between two lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction unless there is an obstruction that would allow no other safe passage.
Another very important safety tip to remember is how important wearing a helmet while on a motorcycle is, to protect your head in the event of an motorcycle accident. A recent study has shown that one out of every five motorcycle accidents involves a head or neck injury, which shows how important it is to wear a motorcycle helmet. Motorcyclists may think they do not need a helmet when heading out for a quick trip and only wear a helmet when going for a long ride. However, most crashes occur within five minutes of starting a ride, so it is important to always wear a helmet on any motorcycle ride. Another surprising finding is that most accidents occur when a driver is traveling at speeds under 30 miles an hour. Motorcycle riders wearing a helmet are three times more likely to survive an injury involving a hit to the head than riders not wearing a helmet.
Also, never operate a motorcycle when you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is not only illegal to drink and drive a car but also illegal to drink and drive a motorcycle. The risk of an accident increases greatly, and you will not have the same reaction time that you would have if you are driving sober, so please make sure to never drive your motorcycle after drinking.
Motorcycle riding can be a great pastime, especially when done safely. Please make sure never to drive or ride as a passenger on a motorcycle unless you have the proper permit or license, unless you are a wearing a motorcycle helmet on every single ride and unless you feel comfortable operating the motorcycle which you are driving. Taking simple steps towards safer motorcycle riding can make a huge difference in keeping the number of accidents lower and keeping everybody safer!