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What hazards await motorcyclists on the road?

Before you leave the house on your motorcycle, you must know what hazards lie in wait for you on the roads of Illinois. A better understanding of these things may help you avoid them and ride safely all year long.

The first and perhaps most common hazard is a driver who is trying to make a left-hand turn. This means, if you're coming toward that car, the vehicle is going to pass through your lane. Drivers often do not see that a motorcycle is coming, and they can drive straight into a crash. Always keep a close eye on cars with their blinkers on, just in case they turn too soon.

Another common hazard is a car that merges and switches lanes in front of the bike. Again, this comes back to a driver not seeing the bike and driving into the same space. You need to look especially hard for this because many drivers do not use their blinkers before switching lanes if they think the way is clear, so you may not have any warning. On top of that, you also want to know if you're in a car's blind spot, where the driver can't see you.

Finally, you could be rear-ended if you come to a stop and the car behind you doesn't stop fast enough. This is very hard to avoid. One tip is simply to always stop in the side of the lane so that, even if there is a crash, it will be more of a glancing blow.

Of course, just knowing about the hazards listed above does not mean you can avoid every accident, so you should know what rights you have to compensation if you've been injured.

Source: Ride Apart, "10 Common Motorcycle Accidents And How To Avoid Them," Wes Siler, accessed July 16, 2015

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