Illinois has unique, and incredibly busy roads. To navigate them effectively every day you’re behind the wheel, there are some important tips and tricks you should know about. To assist you, here are eight must-know motorcycle and car safety tips for IL motorists:

1. Know Your Route Ahead of Time

If you want to get to where you’re going without becoming distracted, finding yourself on the wrong side of the road, or having another time-wasting incident, you need to know your route ahead of time. Thankfully, since we now have GPS on every phone, it’s easy to ensure we know exactly where we’re going. By setting up your GPS to be hands-free before you hit the road, you’ll be ensuring that your trip not only goes smoothly but that it goes safely as well.

2. Stay Sober Behind the Wheel

While it may seem like a no-brainer, many people still fail to take this major safety tip (and legal demand) seriously. When you get behind the wheel under the influence of a substance, you’re putting yourself and everyone else on the road in serious danger. Alcohol-induced wrecks kill and maim thousands of people across the US every single year. To avoid becoming a statistic, or making someone else a statistic, you need to stay fully sober whenever you get behind the wheel. If you’re on a motorcycle and are stuck by a drunk driver, you should contact a Decatur IL motorcycle accident lawyer ASAP to seek legal assistance.

3. Be Defensive When Driving

Many people get offense-minded when on the road. They try to drive just fast enough to stay on the right side of the law and pass people who cause them even the slightest inconvenience. While this may make you feel like a pro driver, what you’re actually accomplishing is making the road a more hectic, disorderly place to drive. If you take a defensive and cautious approach to driving instead, everyone around you will have a clearer understanding of your next actions and needs. You’ll be paying it forward in a way that will benefit everyone (including you) on the road.

4. Don’t Get Distracted

Distracted driving is incredibly deadly. Even if you’re only getting distracted for a handful of seconds, it can lead to disastrous results. The more time and effort you put into ensuring you will have no distractions before you turn on the ignition, the better. Keep any entertainment or maps hands-free, and ensure you’re not riding with passengers who will dangerously distract you. If you can stay alert behind the wheel, you’ll be much less likely to end up in an accident in 2023 (and beyond).

5. Avoid Aggressive Behavior

Unfortunately, many drivers not only drive in an offensive manner but in a downright aggressive one. When drivers are aggressive toward their fellow motorists, they cause panic in the drivers around them which significantly boosts the chances of a serious accident occurring. When you are in a tragic scenario where you’re in a wreck, or even a simple fender-bender, you need to stay calm. By getting aggressive, or experiencing road rage, you will only make the situation more legally dubious and unsafe for everyone involved.

6. Watch Out for Pedestrians and Cyclists

Especially when you’re driving in one of IL’s busy cities, you need to remember that it’s not only motorists who are sharing roadways and public spaces with you. Both cyclists and pedestrians need to know that you’re watching out for their safety as well. This makes the need to avoid dangerously aggressive, offensive driving that much more important. If you hit a pedestrian or cyclist, you’ll be incredibly likely to cause a major injury (or even death), after all.

7. Stay Up-to-Date with Maintenance Needs

Nothing can put you in immediate danger on an IL roadway quite like a sudden mechanical failure. To avoid the chances of suddenly losing control of your car on a roadway, you should stay up-to-date with all of your vehicle’s maintenance needs. Doing so will ensure you’re not stuck out on the road in a dangerous and inopportune situation.

8. Behave Near Railroad Tracks

There are a lot of railroad tracks throughout Illinois. When you’re approaching one, you should slow down, and be completely aware of your surroundings. Both avoiding a train collision and avoiding messing up your car by speeding over tracks, are crucial for all IL motorists, after all. The safer we keep Illinois’ roads, the happier everyone’s 2023 driving season will end up being.