Motorcycle Safety

Motorcycle Safety

By WEEK Producer
By Denise Jackson

August 1, 2011 Updated Aug 1, 2011 at 8:38 PM CDT

Two people were killed in fatal motorcycle accidents over the past couple weeks..the most recent 63-year-old Gerald Gimbel of Sparland.
Gimbel who was wearing a helmet died when A VEHICLE crossed lanes hitting him head on on East War Memorial Drive Sunday.
The accidents are stark reminders of how often motorcycle riders can become unsuspecting targets.

Safety experts say intersections and curves like this videos shows are common places where motorcycle accidents can happen. Motorcycle Training Instructor Mike Killen says preparation, including wearing the right gear even in hot weather should not be ignored.

"Put it on plain and simple. When I had my accident it was 90 plus degrees, the asphalt was over 100 I had long sleeves, gloves, helmet. Was it hot, absolutely, once you get riding you'll cool off," he said.

Killen is teaching these riders basic safety rules in this class at Illinois Central College. Some are beginning riders while others like Dianna Adams have been at it for more than 40 years. Adams wants to become a safer rider.

"You drive you get lazy after a while just like driving a car, you probably make a lot of bad habits that you learned in high school, pretty soon you got one hand off the wheel," Adams said.

Killen says because motorcycles are among the smallest transportation modes,motorcycle riders they can become big targets for accidents.
He advises students to search, evaluate and execute at all times while navigating traffic.

"Two seconds is the first thing you are going to encounter or a good following distance. Four seconds is something you will take an immediate reaction to such as an intersection and 12 seconds is out in a distance, what do you see out further ahead that becomes a potential hazard," he said.

There's been such an increase in motorcycle riding the instructor says they've added several classes like this one throughout Central Illinois.

Killen says it's never too late to take a safety refresher course. He says with so many people on the roads including distracted drivers, motorcycle riders need to be alert and defensive in case there's the potential for danger.

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