SAFETY AND EDUCATION

Motorcycle Awareness Classes

 

ABATE of Illinois provides comprehensive motorcycle awareness instruction to high

school students throughout the state of Illinois. To date, thousands of high school

students have received instruction by volunteer ABATE members in such topics as how

to spot motorcyclists in traffic, how to share the road with motorcyclists, the

fundamentals of proper motorcycle riding gear, including demonstrations as to proper

helmet fitment and the importance of wearing safe riding gear and recognition of

motorcycles on our roadway to prevent collisions.

Each motorcycle awareness instructor receives training on classroom presentation prior

to their actual instruction and they work closely with area high schools to ensure that

their presentations are aligned with the State standards for driver's education instruction. 

To learn more about motorcycle safety, our motorcycle safety program, and links to

outside motorcycle safety agencies, please feel free to utilize the following link

Cycle Rider Training.

Our Safety & Education officer and other volunteers have set up motorcycle awareness

classes with several area high schools and are always in the process of expanding

presentations throughout the region, including areas not within the chapter. If you would

like to volunteer to assist TJ Miles in his presentations, please do not hesitate to get in

touch with him or a chapter officer.   

 

Motorcycle Safety

 

Before you take to the road, take the following into consideration:

 

Proper licensing Officials are cracking down on unlicensed motorcyclist and you never

know when you may be asked to provide proof of license, registration and insurance.

 

Motorcycle Rider Education Course - For the motorcycle rider-training course nearest

you, call the Motorcycle Rider Program  800-642-9589 Toll Free (Illinois only), or

Local 618-453-2877.  Also, please visit the Motorcycle Safety Foundation website at

 http://www.msf-usa.org/.
                                                       

               Motorcycle Familiarization

 

                      Be sure to take the time to get accustomed to the feel of a new or unfamiliar
motorcycle by riding it in a controlled area. Once you feel comfortable with your bike,
you can take it into traffic. Make sure you know how to handle your motorcycle in a
variety of conditions (e.g., inclement weather or encountering hazards such as slick
roads, potholes, and road debris). If you plan to carry cargo or a passenger, be prepared
to make adjustments to the tires,  suspension, and placement of the load.

 

               Be Sure Your Motorcycle Is Safe

 

    Before every ride, you should check the tire pressure and tread depth, hand and foot

brakes, headlights and signal indicators, and fluid levels. You should also check under

the motorcycle for signs of oil or gas leaks. If you're carrying cargo, you should secure

and balance the load on the cycle; and adjust the suspension and tire pressure to

accommodate the extra weight.

Utilize the T-CLOCK acronym found here:  T-Clock Inspection

If you're carrying a passenger, he or she should mount the motorcycle only after the

engine has started; should sit as far forward as possible, directly behind you; and should

keep both feet on the foot rests at all times, even when the motorcycle is stopped.

Remind your passenger to keep his or her legs and feet away from the muffler. Tell your

passenger to hold on firmly to your waist, hips, or belt; keep movement to a minimum;

and lean at the same time and in the same direction as you do. Do not let your passenger

dismount the motorcycle until you say it is safe.

 

Wear the Proper Protection

 

    If you're ever in a serious motorcycle crash, the best hope you have for protecting

your brain is a motorcycle helmet. Always wear a helmet meeting the U.S. Department

of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218.  Look
for the DOT symbol on the outside back of the helmet. That is the manufacturer's
way of certifying the helmet meets the DOT standard. A certified helmet also will have
a permanent inside label identifying the manufacturer and providing information about
the care and use of the helmet. Helmets meeting FMVSS 218 standards have a thick
polystyrene-foam lining;

and sturdy chinstraps. ANSI or Snell labels are voluntary indicators of helmet quality.

Don't leave your helmet behind on short trips because it could be a deadly mistake.
Some motorcycle helmets, in addition to offering protection to your head in a crash,
include plastic face shields that offer protection from wind, rain, insects, dust, and
stones thrown up from cars. If your helmet doesn't have a face shield, be sure you wear
goggles because eyeglasses won't keep your eyes from watering, and can easily fall off.

 

Arms and legs should be completely covered when riding a motorcycle, ideally by

wearing leather or heavy denim. In addition to providing protection in a crash,
protective gear also helps prevent dehydration. Boots or shoes should be high enough
to cover your ankles, while gloves allow for a better grip and help protect your hands
in the event of a crash.  Wearing brightly colored clothing with reflective material will
make you more visible to others.

 

Ride Responsibly

 

Experienced riders know local traffic laws - and they don't take risks. Obey traffic lights,
signs, speed limits, and lane markings; ride with the flow of traffic and leave plenty of

room between your bike and other vehicles; and always check behind you and signal
before you change lanes. Remember to ride defensively. The majority of multi-vehicle
motorcycle crashes generally are caused when other drivers simply didn't see the
motorcyclist. Proceed cautiously at intersections and yield to pedestrians and other
vehicles as appropriate. You can increase your visibility by applying reflective

materials to your motorcycle and by keeping your motorcycle's headlights on at all

times, even using high beams during the day.

 

A.B.A.T.E. of IL discourages the use of alcohol or drugs while operating, or riding as a

passenger on, a motorcycle due to the fact that 50% (NTSA) of all motorcycle crashes

and fatalities involve alcohol.

 

Thanks for getting to know St. Clair County ABATE a little better. If you have any

questions, comments, or concerns about anything on this website, the mission of
St. Clair County ABATE, or anything motorcycle related, please do not hesitate to
contact us!

 

KEEP THE RUBBER SIDE DOWN !!!

 

Doug White & Rich KinKade
Safety and Ed Officer