Motorcycle riders want drivers to keep them in mind. May is designated as Motorcycle Awareness Month. But members of ABATE Iowa District 15 in Davenport, say you should look out for motorcycles all year long, especially with the start of warmer weather.
In the Quad Cities area, there have already been three fatal accidents involving motorcycles this year. Two of them were just blocks away from each other in Blue Grass.
Now one biker says he’s hoping people will remember to look twice when they’re on the road.
Dennis Jepsen is the Director of Davenport’s ABATE chapter, and says while it’s usually accidental, double-checking your surroundings on the road saves lives.
“We disappear behind a road sign, behind a post,” said Jepsen.
He says oftentimes, since they’re out of sight on the road, they’re out of mind.
“They just don’t see ya,” said Jepsen. “They’re not looking for motorcycles, it’s unintentional blindness. It’s something there they aren’t looking for.”
Jepsen has been riding motorcycles for most of his life.
“You know, it’s a way of life, it’s a passion.”
And says over the years, he’s realized the only driver you can trust is yourself.
“We’ve got to look for everybody that’s not looking for us,” said Jepsen.
Warmer weather means more bikes, and Jepsen says having three fatalities when the season is just getting started is scary.
“We’re in a bike brotherhood, and so it affects everybody when somebody’s hurt.”
He says while motorists tend to get a bad rap, for the most part they’re just your neighbors with a passion for the ride.
“Just people that want to ride,” said Jepsen. “It’s a brotherhood, a sisterhood, you know and a lot of people, they see a biker, but we see a brother, a father, a grandfather, a mother, a grandmother, a sister when we’re out riding.”
Jepsen now spends his retirement getting the word out, hoping to bring an end to a vicious cycle.
“You just need to really be aware that we’re out there,” said Jepsen “You know, you have to take a second look. People don’t do that. Everybody’s in a hurry today, slow down, take a second look, let everybody be alive.”