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Tips for safe motorcycle riding in the spring

The spring is commonly known as one of the most dangerous times for motorcycle riders. Drivers often forget about sharing the road with smaller bikes, having not done so during the Illinois winter, and it can lead to accidents when drivers forget to watch for motorcycles. Below are a few tips that can help you ride safely in Illinois.

1. Drive in a defensive manner. Always assume that other drivers will make mistakes and watch them carefully at all times.

2. Be as visible as you can be. If you have bright clothes, wear them. Never turn off the bike's headlight. Do everything in your power to make it harder for drivers to miss the bike.

3. Understand that the weather is hard to predict. Even if it's been sunny, it could rain or even snow. Always watch the weather so that you only go out on optimal days.

4. Look for damage to the road. Ice and snow do a lot of damage, causing cracks and potholes, which road crews spend the summer fixing. In the spring, you must be extra cautious, knowing that the roads could be in bad shape.

5. Stay out of blind spots. This is good advice all of the time, since motorcycles are small and fit into blind spot easily. However, it's even more important in the spring, when drivers may not take the time to double-check for a motorcycle. Be extra careful around semi trucks, which have large blind spots.

Of course, these tips don't mean accidents caused by other drivers won't happen, so it's important to know your rights if you're injured in a crash.

Source: Auto Insurance Center, "Motorcycle Tips For Safe Spring Riding," accessed March 18, 2016

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