Minnesota Department of Public Safety encourages extra caution for Flood Run
As nearly 30,000 motorcyclists prepare for the annual Fall Flood Run from the Twin Cities to Winona this weekend the Minnesota Department of Public Safety is encouraging motorists to exercise extra caution Saturday.
According to the DPS, 2013 has been a deadly year for motorcyclists with 54 deaths so far.
In 2012 55 riders lost their lives, which was the first time rider deaths had increased since 2008.
July was the deadliest July on record for motorcyclists with 20 deaths and the deadliest month since August 2008, when 21 riders lost their lives.
August 2008 was the deadliest month in the last 15 years for motorcyclists.
Motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of the state’s traffic deaths in 2012 and in 2013 that number has risen to 21 percent of all traffic fatalities to-date.
“These are family members, friends, and coworkers losing their lives,” said Bill Shaffer of the DPS Motorcycle Safety Center. “Motorcyclists and drivers need to step up and take action to reduce these tragedies.”
With nearly 237,000 registered motorcycles and 405,000 licensed operators in the state of Minnesota ridership is at record levels, according to the DPS.
DPS offers the following tips for motorists and motorcyclists:
Watch for motorcycles and always look twice before entering a roadway or changing lanes.
Due to the smaller size of motorcycles their speed and distance is more difficult to judge.
Give riders room and check blind spots.
Pay attention and drive at safe speeds.
Be prepared for inattentive drivers by staying focused on riding and keeping your speed in check.
Wear the gear. Motorcyclists should wear a DOT-approved helmet and brightly colored protective gear for visibility and protection.
Don’t drink and ride. One-third of all motorcycle fatalities involve impaired riders.