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What are some common accidents for motorcyclists?

There are inherent dangers to riding motorcycles on Illinois highways, yet the lure remains strong, especially during the warm summer months. Still, some types of accidents are more common than others and motorcyclists would do well to be aware of.

Below are some potentially dangerous scenarios that all motorcycle enthusiasts should take care to avoid.

-- Vehicles turning left in your path. This is the most common accident for motorcyclists and happens because motorists either misjudge the speed of your motorcycle or simply don't even see you at all. Your best defense against a wool-gathering driver at a traffic light is your own awareness and quick reflexes to take evasive actions.

-- Riding with motorcyclists who are impaired or distracted. It should go without saying that no one should ever ride a motorcycle after drinking, yet some bikers still do. Don't ride with groups of bikers who are drinking, and choose your riding companions wisely. Make sure that all are experienced riders who stay focused on riding and follow the rules of the road.

-- Locking up your front brake. Only hours of practice will teach you how to safely use your front brake effectively. Make sure that you put in the time to learn how to brake safely.

-- Getting "doored" by a car. This usually occurs when motorcyclists create their own lanes between parked cars and traffic, and can be deadly, as the momentum of the impact can toss a rider under the wheels of oncoming vehicles.

-- Inclement weather conditions cause slippery surfaces. Chicago riders are familiar with bad weather, and with good tires, a motorcycle can hold its own surprisingly well on plowed roads. Make sure yours are in tip-top shape for weather in all four seasons.

Remember that no matter how safe of a rider your are, your safety also hinges on the motorists with whom you share the road. If you get into a collision with an at-fault motorist, understand that you have legal options available to you for pursuing compensation.

Source: rideapart.com, "10 common motorcycle accidents and how to avoid them," Wes Siler, accessed June 23, 2016

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