Look twice save a life

It happens every year...the weather gets warm and the motorcycles come out.

But with that comes an increased risk of accidents.

ABATE of Illinois and Kelly's restaurant teamed up for the 25th annual poker run and bike show awareness weekend on May 18 and 19.

"Springtime is here and there are a lot more motorcycles and scooters on the highway, especially in the cities and towns. Make sure they're aware that motorcycles are all over the place and a lot of time we aren't seen on the road," said Bryan Smith owner of TNT, Harley Davidson and Action Sports.

Trooper Mike Kindhart with the Illinois State Police says left-hand turns in front of a motorcycle are the number one cause of accidents.

"When you look at it from a distance, it looks like it's a long ways away because if you were thinking it was a car instead of a motorcycle it would appear to be a lot farther into the distance then what it is," Trooper Kindhart said.

There are also things that bikers can do to keep themselves safe...such as wearing reflective clothing, gloves, coats and of course a helmet.

"We need to make sure we're in a spot on the road where the cars can see us," Smith said. "And always be aware when going through an intersection where a car can turn left in front of you, always be ready to make a quick stop," he said.

And while it may be hot outside, it is still important to wear the proper attire to keep yourself safe.

"If they're in that unforeseen crash, it is definitely going to go straight to the flesh because they don't have anything covering up on the body. And we know that it is a big freedom for people wanting to get on a motorcycle, the wind blowing in their hair and it's a huge freedom for them to be out there ," Trooper Kindhart said. " But we also want to make sure they're safe and wearing the proper equipment ," he said.

A motorcyclist will often times move around in a lane in order to be seen more easily or avoid passing shouldn't assume they are being reckless.

"I'm in no way shape or form trying to race or get in a little battle with a car because we're going to lose ," Smith said. " We're on motorcycles, we have nothing around us. The biggest thing I think vehicles need to understand as well is that there are times where I accelerate through and get out of a traffic situation that puts me in danger ," he said