Car owners aren't the only drivers in Minnesota who may benefit from automated technology. Some companies are exploring the possibilities of using driver-assistance innovations to make the road safer for riders on two wheels. Motorcycle fatalities routinely exceed fatal car crashes several times over per mile traveled according to U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration figures. Part of the reason for this is because of direct exposure the elements and having very few defensive options.
It is clear that helmets save lives during a motorcycle crash. A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that 1,772 lives were saved because of motorcycle helmet usage in 2015. Unfortunately, 4,976 people lost their lives in motorcycle crashes. While laws vary somewhat throughout the country, the helmet law in Minnesota is rather lenient because it only applies to riders 17 and younger. The state law extends to motorcycle operators with a learner's permit.
Motorcycle riders in Minnesota are exposed to hazards not faced by those driving cars or trucks. For example, those on motorcycles do not have a sufficient barrier between themselves and the road. They can also be difficult to see or anticipate on the road, which can lead to accidents.
Figures from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety indicate that the number of fatal motorcycle accidents in the state is up sharply in 2015. The department says that 26 motorcyclists have died on Minnesota's roads during the first six months of 2015. This figure represents a 56 percent increase over the 16 motorcycle riders and passengers who died during the first six months of 2014.
On April 18, it was announced that an accident involving a motorcycle and another vehicle in Minnesota left two people dead. Authorities stated that the incident occurred on Highway 68 at an intersection in Blue Earth County around 3:13 p.m.
Minnesota motorcyclists are often dedicated to the experience afforded by the freedom of riding unencumbered on the road. Unfortunately, those who ride on motorcycles are much more likely to suffer serious personal injuries or to be killed in the event they are involved in a collision with another vehicle.
Although adventure and fuel efficiency are attractive reasons for riding on motorcycles, it is important to understand that there are some serious dangers for a motorcyclist, especially for a new rider. Statistically, the risk of dying in a motorcycle accident is 30 times greater than in a car accident. Nearly 50 percent of motorcycle-related deaths result from one-vehicle accidents. The risks are greater for older riders whose reflexes, bone strength, and eyesight can lead to more vulnerability in an accident. Alcohol and speeding are two leading factors in such accidents, meaning that some basic precautions can reduce one's risks.
For motorcyclists in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a report produced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding 2012 traffic data may provide important insight. For example, the study shows nearly 5,000 people on motorcycles were killed that year in vehicle accidents. This figure is a 7 percent increase from 2011.
Because all kinds of vehicles share the road, motorcycles inevitably tend to become hidden in traffic. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, vehicle-motorcycle crashes comprise approximately 50 percent of all motorcycle wrecks. In many instances involving a vehicle-motorcycle crash, the driver of the motor vehicle said that they did not see the motorcycle in time to avoid a crash or at all. Motorists who are aware of the possible presence of motorcycles will likely double check blind spots before initiating any maneuvers.
A crash involving a motorcycle on Aug. 10 left one man dead in Minneapolis. Police report that incident occurred just before 4:30 p.m. at Julliard Street and Fawn Lake Drive.