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According to a seven-county Chicago Sun Times survey, motorcycle crashes are on the rise as many people have turned to motorcycles as an alternative to driving cars. Simply put, motorcycles get good gas mileage and as such provide an economically efficient mode of transportation during these tough times.

A dangerous combination of inexperienced riders and drivers not being used to seeing so many motorcycles on the road upped the number of motorcycle crashes in the surveyed region 22% from 2,180 in 2006 to 2,663 in 2008, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of motorcycle deaths rose nationwide by 2.2 percent in 2008, while the death rate for passenger vehicles declined by 13 percent last year.

Motorcyclists and drivers need to take every precaution to ensure their safety and the safety of others on the roads. For example:

– wear a proper helmet

– dress right for the road: no flip-flops or sleeveless shirts;

– don’t drink and ride

– make sure you have enough insurance- including uninsured motorist coverage, as you can never depend on the other driver to have enough insurance

Check out the NHTSA website at for more motorcycle safety tips.

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