MOLINE, Ill. - Mild winter weather has kept a lot of bikes on the roads, and ABATE Illinois wants to make sure everyone on the roads stays safe.
Kelly Carlson, who handles the PR for the Blackhawk chapter of ABATE Illinois, says she has a personal connection to motorcycle safety behind her own bike.
"I do this because my brother was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1987," said Carlson. "A pickup truck ran through a stop sign. He said he did not see my brother on his bike."
Carlson says that not being seen is the biggest challenge bikers face on the road.
"Nobody gets in their car and says 'I'm going to go hit a motorcycle'," said Carlson. "Most of the time, I'd say a good eight times out of ten, in a motorcycle accident the driver of the other vehicle says I did not see him."
Carlson says the biggest piece of advice she can give to drivers is to be aware. She said motorcycles are a lot smaller, and appear farther away than they actually are.
"Give us a little extra room," said Carlson. "Because we're probably closer than you think we are. Take a little extra time at intersections. Look left, look right, look left again and take a little extra time before pulling out."
The responsibility does not fall completely on the drivers in cars.
"For motorcycle riders, especially this time of year, we have to be extra aware of what's going on around us because other motorists are not used to seeing motorcycles in the winter," said Carlson. "We have to remember to operate our bikes safely, make sure we check our bikes out before we leave, before we get on it, make sure it's in 100% operational shape to avoid an possible mechanical failures on the road."
The most important part is staying safe.
"We all have to share the road so we all have to watch out for each other," said Carlson. "In the end, you leave your house and you go for a ride on your motorcycle, you leave your house and go for a drive in your car, we all want the same thing in the end. We want to have a good day and we want to come back home."
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