On Saturday April 30th several members from the Eastern Illinois chapter of ABATE of Illinois will be standing at the intersection of Prospect Avenue and Marketview Drive in Champaign. They will be holding signs that say; Look For Motorcycles, I’m a Mother See Me, Look Twice Save a Life, Motorcycles Are Everywhere and other slogans that catch the attention. Awareness Rallies are one of the most important activities you will find ABATE chapters sponsoring.
A Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education. The education part comes through educating the general driving public that they share the roads with motorcycles. Lots of motorcycles. In Illinois there are over 350,000 registered motorcycles. With that many motorcycles you might think that motorist would be seeing motorcycles everywhere. But they don’t. Motorists expect to see other cars and large semis traveling down the road with them and aren’t looking for motorcycles, mopeds and small compact sports cars. There is a scientific reason behind this; it is called perceptual blindness. Basically we see what we expect to see. If motorist are not consciously looking for motorcycles the risks are high that the words “I didn’t see them” will be heard. This is why raising awareness is so very important.
Slogans like “Start Seeing Motorcycles” and “Look Twice, Save A Life” are effective. They remind all motorists that they are sharing the road with motorcycles. Programs like ABATE of Illinois Safety and Education program that go into high school driver education classrooms to teach new drivers about Motorcycle awareness also save lives. Each one of us can do our part. Talk to our friends, family and neighbors about being aware of motorcycles on the road. Teach our children a spin on an old game will help too. Change slug bug to slug bike and future drivers will learn to see motorcycles on the road at an early age.
Over the past 10 to 12 years the percentage of motorcycle accident fatalities in the State of Illinois has been trending downward. Approximately there has been a 3% decrease in motorcycle accident fatalities over the past 10 years. This is no small feat considering the motorcycle registrations in the state have been steadily increasing. Unfortunately 118 motorcyclist lost their lives while riding in 2014. We don’t have finalized data for 2015 yet. Although 118 was one of the lowest numbers in the past 12 years the loss of one life is too many.
If through ABATE of Illinois, Eastern Illinois ABATE and all the ABATE chapters across the state efforts to raise awareness we save just one life it is all worth it. So come on out Saturday to the intersections of Prospect and Marketview in Champaign and help us raise Awareness. If just one more, two more, ten more motorist start looking for us; we are making progress. Our goal is that every rider make it home safely to their family and friends from each and every ride.
Start Seeing Motorcycles! Look Twice, Save A LIFE!