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Follow these safety tips with motorcycles

Motorcycle fatalities are up across the state this year.

Most recently a motorcyclist had to be rescued in Douglas county after he lost control of his bike and became stuck in a ditch for more than half a day. While he sustained serious injuries, he was thankfully not killed in the crash.

The same can’t be said for many less fortunate motorcyclists. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, there have been 41 motorcycle fatalities across the state so far this year. That compares to 24 motorcycle fatalities at this time last year and 46 total fatalities in 2014.

Of the people who died in motorcycle crashes, 27 were not wearing a helmet and 11 were wearing a helmet. It is unknown whether the remaining three riders wore helmets.

The Department of Public Safety said 29 of the crashes happened in a rural area and eight in an urban area. The organization notes that the summer months tend to be the time where there are the greater number of motorcycle fatalities.

With a higher likelihood of crashes happening in rural areas, we urge motorcyclists to follow safety precautions:

  • Wear protective gear, including a Department of Transportation-approved helmet and brightly colored protective gear for visibility and protection. Gear should protect from wind chill, flying bugs, debris and road rash.
  • Be prepared for inattentive drivers. Stay focused on riding and keep speed in check.
  • Never drink and drive.
  • Always ride within your skillset and use good judgment.
  • Maintain a three-second following distance.
  • When encountering an animal, slow down and use both brakes to stop.

Motorists are encouraged to do the following:

  • Look twice for motorcycles before entering a roadway or changing lanes.
  • Give riders room and check for blind spots. 

— Fergus Falls Daily Journal

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