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Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O'Neil, LLC
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Be prepared to ride your motorcycle in traffic

If you are venturing out on the Chicago roadways on your motorcycle, you should make sure that you are prepared to ride in traffic. Knowing some safety tips might help you to avoid an accident; however, they won't stop all accidents from occurring. If for some reason you are struck by another vehicle, you can take action to seek compensation from the driver who struck you.

If you are riding on Lakeshore or another road that has ramps, be sure that you don't ride in between another vehicle and the ramp. Even though this is sometimes difficult, making an effort to do so might end up saving your life because so many drivers make sharp turns to hit the ramp without paying attention to the vehicles around you.

Try not to ride right in the center of the lane. By offsetting your motorcycle from the vehicle in front of you, there is a chance that you will be able to avoid being caught in between the vehicle in front of you and the one behind you if an accident occurs.

Pay attention to your surroundings. This includes watching the state of the road surface, any possible ways out if you see a dangerous situation and what traffic is doing around your bike. You should also watch the drivers around you. Pay attention to their mirrors and their head movements. This can clue you into the possibility that a driver might make a sudden turn or lane change. You can then take evasive action to avoid the car crashing into your motorcycle.

Finally, be sure that you know your bike. Keep your brake pedal or lever covered so that you don't have to find it if you need to stop suddenly. Be sure to use your turn signals. Keep your bike in a low gear in stop-and-go traffic so that you can get going quickly and use the increased revving necessary to move to alert other drivers to your presence.

Source: Motorcyclist Online, "15 Riding-In-Traffic Tips," accessed Jan. 26, 2017

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