The “Start Seeing Motorcycles” campaign was recently launched by State Police, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) in an attempt to help reduce the risks of a motorcycle accident in Chicago and elsewhere in the state.
The agencies are now urging motorists to watch for motorcyclists as the spring season signals the start of the riding season in Illinois.
Our Chicago motorcycle accident lawyers urge residents to join the cause not only in the month of May but year round. It is important to use caution when sharing our roads with motorcycles through the spring and summer months.
“Under the leadership and vision of Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois experienced an historic and record breaking two-year low in traffic fatalities in 2009 and 2010,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig. “IDOT continues to stress the importance of motorcycle safety and understands the need for proper attention, dedication and commitment by all motorists and motorcyclists in Illinois. Motorists share equal responsibility for motorcycle safety and are strongly encouraged to share the road and start seeing motorcycles.”
Statistics show more than half of all motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle are the fault of the other driver — not the rider.
“The Illinois State Police is committed to the safety of all motorists, and we are proud to partner with IDOT in an effort to raise awareness and reduce motorcycle related crashes,” said Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau. “Inclement weather, road conditions, traffic congestion, and limitations of protective gear, make motorcycle riders susceptible to serious or life threatening injuries, regardless of their experience or skill level. We can all help make this summer safe and enjoyable by practicing safe driving habits and staying focused on the road.”
Yellow banners and yard signs illustrating the “Start Seeing Motorcycles” message will be displayed throughout Illinois this month in hopes of effectively informing the public about the increased number of motorcyclists expected to hit the road this spring. Motorists are asked to be on the lookout for motorcyclists and to be considerate of all motorists when behind the wheel.
IDOT and partners will also be continuing their new “Gear Up” campaign. This campaign is geared towards motorcyclists and their responsibilities as drivers. The campaign urges riders to keep their bikes in good running condition, make sure licensing and insurance are current, never ride impaired, wear protective clothing and increase their visibility.
“When you ride, be aware of your surroundings, others may not see you. Whenever there is a motor vehicle versus a motorcycle accident, most of the time the operator’s comment is, ‘I did not see the bike” said Larry Kolling, GWRRA’s Illinois District Motorist Awareness Coordinator.
During the “Gear Up” campaign, free Cycle Rider Safety Courses will be available statewide so that motorcycle riders can acquire proper safety knowledge and training.
The courses expect about 20,000 riders to participate and are coordinated through Northern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and University of Illinois-Campaign,
Motorist tips to help keep our motorcyclists safe:
-Be sure to look twice when entering traffic, switching lanes or passing through an intersection as motorcyclists are oftentimes overlooked.
-Because of their small size, motorcycles appear to travel faster than they actually are.
-Motorcyclists will sometimes slow down or attempt to stop by downshifting instead of using their brakes. This move does not activate their brake lights. Do not follow too closely.
-Their small size may make them seem farther away than they actually are. Assume bikes are close and pose potential threats. Be extra cautious when driving near these motorists.
-Some blinkers on motorcycles are not self-canceling like they are on other motor vehicles. Make sure that a motorcyclist’s signal is real when traveling nearby.
-Bike drivers will swerve within a lane to avoid debris and the effects of winds. Don’t assume they’re just showing off or being reckless.
The Illinois motorcycle accident lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.