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Motorcycle Safety

Motorcycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as other roadway users. Because of their size and vulnerability in a crash, it is important to pay special attention to motorcycles.


More than 50 percent of all motorcycle collisions occur at intersections. The most common situation occurs when an oncoming automobile makes a left turn in front of a motorcycle. Watch for motorcycles before turning and yield the right-of-way. Be particularly careful when making a left turn across lanes of oncoming traffic. Always use your signals and look in all directions before making the turn. Don’t be misled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle — motorcycle signals usually are not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed.


Illinois allows a motorcycle rider to proceed, after yielding the right-of-way to oncoming traffic, through a red light that fails to turn green after waiting for at least 120 seconds.

Statistics for 2011*

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* Sources — National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — Traffic Safety December 2012