The is asking for all drivers to be alert and mindful of motorcyclist on the roads, now that the warm spring weather is bringing riders out.
While many motorcyclists ride with the expectation that other drivers may not see them, other drivers must take part in that responsibility when sharing the roadway.
The number of motorcycles on our roads is growing, so it's important for all drivers to watch what they are doing, listen for motorcycles and focus on the road.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation statistics, 131 motorcyclists were killed in 2010 with only two of those fatalities of drivers wearing a Department of Transportation (DOT)-compliant helmet.
IDOT also affirms that motorcycles represent slightly less than 3 percent of total vehicle registrations; however, motorcycle fatalities approached 14 percent of all vehicle fatalities.
With an estimated 50 percent of motorcycle rider deaths occurring in single-vehicle crashes, one must understand the tremendous responsibility of riding a motorcycle. Though there is a certain freedom that comes from riding a motorcycle, safety should always be the first priority.
Ten Things All Car and Truck Drivers Should Know About Motorcycles
1. There are a lot more cars and trucks than motorcycles on the road, and some drivers don't "recognize" a motorcycle; they ignore it (usually unintentionally). Look for motorcycles, especially when checking traffic at an intersection.
2. Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it is. It may also be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into (or out of) a driveway, predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks.
3. Because of its small size, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots (door/roof pillars) or masked by objects or backgrounds outside a car (bushes, fences, bridges, etc). Take an extra moment to thoroughly check traffic, whether you're changing lanes or turning at intersections.
4. Because of its small size a motorcycle may seem to be moving faster than it really is. Don't assume all motorcyclists are speed demons.
5. Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not activating the brake light. Allow more following distance, say 3 or 4 seconds. At intersections, predict a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning.
6. Turn signals on a motorcycle usually are not self-canceling, thus some riders, (especially beginners) sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change. Make sure a motorcycle's signal is for real.
7. Motorcyclists often adjust position within a lane to be seen more easily and to minimize the effects of road debris, passing vehicles, and wind. Understand that motorcyclists adjust lane position for a purpose, not to be reckless or show off or to allow you to share the lane with them.
8. Maneuverability is one of a motorcycle's better characteristics, especially at slower speeds and with good road conditions, but don't expect a motorcyclist to always be able to dodge out of the way.
9. Stopping distance for motorcycles is nearly the same as for cars, but slippery pavement makes stopping quickly difficult. Allow more following distance behind a motorcycle because it can't always stop "on a dime."
10. When a motorcycle is in motion, don't think of it as motorcycle; think of it as a person.
Source: Cary News Weekly, Motorcycle Saftey Foundation