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Are you a savvy autumn motorcycle rider?

The Illinois State Police encourages all motorcycle riders to follow these autumn riding tips for safer motoring this fall.

-- Make sure that your skills are equal to the weather. Autumn riding can present unique challenges that are not seen during the summer, so make sure to acclimate yourself to the different conditions.

-- Watch out for piles of leaves. Leaves are problematic on two levels, They draw out leaf-peepers who may not be paying attention to bikers sharing the road with them. Also, accumulations of them can become slick, reducing the traction of your motorcycle's tires.

-- Autumn is deer season, when they are active and breeding and being stalked by hunters. Also, their foraging areas are reduced by fall harvests, causing them to move into more populated areas closer to highways. Dawn and dusk are peak times for deer sightings, so pay close attention.

-- The first frosts can appear in fall in Illinois, yet midday temperatures may still be quite warm and conducive for riding. Elevated surfaces like bridge decks and railroad crossings and anywhere that gets little sun will be especially prone to lingering frost.

-- Ice on roads doesn't always need rain to form. Patches of ice sufficient to put a motorcycle into a skid can form from a driver dumping out a beverage from a car window, leaked fluid's from a vehicle's undercarriage and even car exhaust. Experienced riders know to pay attention especially at intersections and over bridges.

Remember, too, that you are only as safe as those with whom you are sharing the road. If you are injured due to a motorist's negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation from the Illinois civil courts for the injuries, losses and damages that you suffer.

Source: Illinois State Police, "Motorcycle Fall Riding Tips," accessed Sep. 15, 2016

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