As the weather begins to warm up, Illinois drivers will start seeing more motorcycles on the roads. Governor Pat Quinn has declared May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), working with other organizations, has launched the "Start Seeing Motorcycles" campaign to urge drivers to share the road with motorcyclists.
Motorcycle riders are almost 40 times more likely to die in the event of a motor vehicle accident compared to passenger car occupants, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Last year there were 144 Illinois motorcycle accident fatalities. This accounts for 16 percent of the state's total fatalities.
Motorcycles comparatively small size makes them easier for motorists to overlook. Drivers are urged to proactively watch for motorcycles, especially when changing lanes or merging. Motorists should also give motorcycles a full lane, and increase their following distance when behind a motorcycle by three or four seconds. Motorcycles are able to stop more quickly than cars in dry conditions.
IDOT reminds motorcyclists to be alert for motorists, wear a DOT-approved helmet, and increase visibility by using reflective tape or wearing brightly colored clothing. Motorcyclists are also encouraged to participate in IDOT's free motorcycle training course.
A.B.A.T.E., an organization that works to educate motorcyclists and motorists, reminds riders and drivers to "Look Twice to Save a Life." Taking a moment to check one more time for an oncoming vehicle may literally mean the difference between life and death.
Source: Galesburg.com, Beware of 2-wheelers on the roads, 2 May 2012