TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) -- The recent sunshine and warm conditions have motorcyclists hitting the road. In response, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois State Police (ISP) have teamed up for a "Ride Smart" campaign.
Now's the time for motorcyclists to get their bikes safety checked and brush off the riding rust. Those behind a handlebar need to be just as careful as those behind a wheel.
Paul Wappel, IDOT's Public Information Officer, explained to News 10 that safety is their top priority.
"We want to remind motorcyclists to please wear personal protective gear on every ride including eye disability high visibility clothing, use eye protection, gloves, jackets, pants, boots, and a USDOT approved helmet. And remember to don't ever drink and ride," said Wappel.
Rob Galbraith, the Riding Academy Manager at Cannonball Harley Davidson said intersections are the most commonplace for motorcyclist vs. motorist accidents. Galbraith said the biggest concern for motorcyclists is distracted driving.
"The biggest threat I've seen for motorcyclists are motorists that are staring at their cell phones. There is no text or phone call that is so important that you're going to put a motorcyclist's life at risk by looking at your phone instead of watching where you're going," Galbraith said.
IDOT encourages everyone on the road to be mindful of their surroundings and give each other space. They also provide free training for motorcyclists who would like to brush up on their skills before hitting the road.
If you'd like to sign up or get more information on the available training, click here.