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Lake Villa motorcyclist killed Saturday

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Motorcycles

Lake Villa motorcyclist killed Saturday

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
August 30, 2011


Start Seeing Motorcycles


I was thinking today about the 29-year-old motorcyclist who was killed on Saturday in unincorporated Lake County near Ingleside. I looked at the intersection on Google Maps and saw it was a T-intersection.

Although the roadway of Highway 59 runs east-west there, the direction of travel is reported as north-side due to the highway numbering. The motorcycle operator was riding north (east); the car driver was driving south (west) and, according to an expanded version in the paper, turning left on a yellow onto Wilson Road

I had said to a friend, before reading the expanded version, that I wondered if the motorcycle was running a yellow light and got tangled up with a driver completing a left turn. It sounds like that's just what happened.

Just as important for a driver to see the motorcyclist is for the motorcyclist to ride so that he can be seen!

If the motorcycle operator is tailgating a vehicle, he cannot be easily seen by oncoming drivers. If he is riding by the right-rear corner of the vehicle in front of him, he cannot be easily seen by oncoming drivers.

I have wondered why some motorcyclists ride almost on top of the center lane-line, and a magazine article recently addressed the visibility issue.

So, motorcyclists, be seen! Drop back a little, allow a safe following distance from the car in front of you, ride to the left, and, of course, watch out for the idiot behind you when the light changes from green to yellow. He may guess that you are going on through. Don't get rear-ended.

Would a helmet have saved that 29-year-old man? At least his 9-year-old daughter had a helmet on. Even so, she was reported to have a fractured skull and internal injuries.

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