Watch out for motorcycles
Washingtonians are on a weather roller coaster.
Temperatures range from wintery to mild as residents prepare for spring.
In anticipation of warmer temperatures, motorcycle enthusiasts are bringing their bikes out from winter storage.
With increasing numbers of motorcycles on the road, motorists are asked to be on the lookout.
As the weather improves, we will see more of them on the roads than in colder months.
And, with gasoline prices continuing to hit motorists in the wallet, more people may begin to see motorcycles as a less expensive means of travel.
Last week, two separate motorcycle accidents occurred at the intersection of Nofsinger Road and Route 24.
In both cases, a motorist pulled out in front of the motorcycle, according to reports. See story on page 3A.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, the number of motorcycle fatalities has increased by more than 33 percent during the past two years.
Many of the accidents were caused by the driver’s inability to see motorcyclists, according to police.
Motorcycles, by design, are not very large and can easily be hidden by a larger vehicle’s blind spots.
Riders should remember that it is as important to be seen as to see.
Motorcyclists are more vulnerable in case of an accident. While driving too close to any vehicle is risky, it is especially dangerous to follow a motorcycle too closely.
Regardless of what type of transportation people use, we should all drive defensively, as if others on the road are not aware of what, or who, is nearby.
It is a sad truth that not all drivers pay close enough attention to their surroundings and the task at hand.
If everyone practices safe driving more people will be able to enjoy the warmer weather.