Minnesotans know that winter is just around the corner. Once the leaves start changing and the air gets a little cooler in the fall, we know that it may just a matter of weeks before we will have to start digging our cars out from under then snow. Until then, however, people are making the most of the enjoyable weather.
This includes the many people who will be riding their motorcycles as long as they can before they have to store it away for the winter. Because of this, all motorists need to continue to be extra cautious for when they are sharing the roads with motorcycles this season. Too often, drivers fail to drive safely and end up crashing into a biker, causing devastating and fatal injuries. And recent reports suggest that this year is already proving to be a much more dangerous year for bikers than 2012.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reports that in all of 2012, 55 riders were killed in motorcycle accidents in this state. With the tragedy of the most recent accident involving a motorcyclist in St. Anthony, Minnesota, the number of fatal accidents this year has reached 57, and we still have more weeks of biking weather ahead of us.
The fact that there have already been more Minnesota motorcycle accidents in about nine months of this year than there were in all 12 months last year is certainly upsetting. It is also very troubling to note that the number of motorcycle fatalities this year is the highest it has been since 2008. That year, there were 72 riders who were killed. That number was declining until this year.
Despite the intensive marketing and educating efforts that are designed to raise awareness among car and truck drivers, there are still many riders whose lives are put in danger or ended because of reckless or inattentive drivers.
It is true that not all accidents are caused by a negligent motorist. However, the ones that are should be the ones that never had to happen in the first place. If drivers would take the time to watch out for bikers and give them plenty of space on the road, it is likely that many of these accidents could be avoided.
Source: Star Tribune, “Motorcyclist killed in St. Anthony crash; rider death toll surpasses all of 2012,” Sept., 27, 2013