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IL accident lawyerNow that the weather is getting warmer and more people are partaking in outdoor activities, motorcycle riders everywhere are rejoicing and getting their bikes out to take them for a spin. For many people, riding a motorcycle is thrilling and not just a hobby, but a way of life. Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle can also be dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are around 28 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident than passenger car occupants. In 2016, there were over 5,000 motorcyclists killed in motor vehicle accidents. Understanding the common causes of motorcycle accidents can help you make sure you keep yourself as safe as possible while on your bike.

Not Knowing Your Bike Well Enough

Before you set out on the open road, you should make sure that you are comfortable handling your bike. Riding a motorcycle safely takes a lot of skill, patience, and practice. The NHTSA states that about a third of motorcyclists killed in crashes are either improperly license to ride a motorcycle or not licensed at all. Before you take your bike out onto the road, try practicing in a parking lot or a road that is not very busy.

Being Under the Influence While Riding

Another major factor in a lot of motorcycle crashes is alcohol. According to the NHTSA, 25 percent of motorcyclists who were involved in fatal crashes in 2016 were alcohol-impaired, which is more than drivers of any other vehicle type. Driving anything while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is never OK.

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IL injury lawyerAs the snow begins to fall, everyone scrambles to get their snow tires on their vehicles, change their windshield wiper blades and dig out their snow brush -- but those steps typically only pertain to the four-wheeled variety of vehicle owners. Those who own motorcycles have a set of concerns that are specific to their vehicle and riding it in cold, snowy weather. According to the United States Department of Transportation, there are approximately 8,410,255 motorcycles registered for private ownership in the country and over 300,000 of those motorcycles are registered in Illinois alone. Riders who are inexperienced or unprepared for cold-weather driving can find themselves in serious motorcycle accidents if they are not careful. If you are planning to ride your motorcycle this winter, here are three things you should think about before heading out on the road:

Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter

Just like any other vehicle, your motorcycle should be serviced and in great condition at the beginning and throughout the winter months. It is a good idea to look into getting snow tires for your motorcycle because snow tires can give you the best traction possible in snowy or rainy weather. Also, a large windshield or heated hand grips can work wonders for making driving in the cold weather more comfortable.

Wear the Proper Gear

Every motorcyclist knows that proper gear is a necessity when it comes to riding at any time of the year. In colder months, you should wear thick, warm clothing and multiple layers for maximum protection from the elements. Long sleeves and long pants are a must, as thick gloves and boots with a decent amount of tread. Protective wear is not only used to protect yourself in the event of an accident, but also to protect yourself from the cold.

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