The number of motorcycle deaths keeps growing. As of this week, 47 cycle riders have been killed on Minnesota highways. That total is one more than all of last year. This is not a number that we want to see broken.
• In this year’s 47 fatal cases, 31 of the riders killed were not wearing helmets. Twelve riders were wearing a helmet. It was not reported whether the remaining four riders were wearing helmets.
• Sixty-five percent of the fatalities involved riders over the age of 46; 15 percent were under 30.
• Six passengers have died in six motorcycle crashes. Four of those crashes also killed the driver.
• In 19 of the crashes, riders were negotiating a curve when they lost control and crashed. Speed also is cited as a contributing factor in 11 of the accidents.
• There are more than 236,000 registered motorcycles and more than 414,000 licensed operators in Minnesota.
For every driver and rider, it’s important that the following be kept in mind:
1. Yield the right-of-way.
2. Start seeing motorcycles.
3. When on a motorcycle, make sure people see you.
4. When just starting to ride, make sure you have the correct training.
The road is big enough for everyone.
A Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial got a number of comments after it made the following suggestions to deal with the increase:
- Increased training of new drivers.
- More emphasis on sober riding.
- The Increased use of safety equipment.
- Drivers paying more attention on the roads.
The discussion about helmets dominated most of the responses. Clearly, this is one there may not ever be an agreement on, but as to the other suggestions, they really make a lot of sense. Every new driver needs to get the all important training that riding a motorcycle isn’t like a bike or a car.
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