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Drivers warned to look out for motorcycles on the roadways

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Road Run

LA CRESCENT, Minn. (WXOW) - As the 56th Annual Flood Run comes to our area on Saturday, it marks a transition into motorcycles season.

With more of them on the roads, AAA wants to remind all drivers about motorcycle safety on the roadways.

 In 2019 alone, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety data reported 44 motorcyclists were killed on Minnesota roadways and another 840 were seriously injured.

In order to prevent accidents, serious injuries, or deaths, AAA has released some tips for motorists and motorcyclists. Those tips are:

For Motorcyclists

  • Wear safety gear. Helmets that meet DOT compliance standards, eyewear, closed-toe footwear, and protective clothing reduce your risk of injury or death in a crash.
  • Keep headlights, markers, and taillights on at dusk and dark, or rainy weather. Wear bright clothing or put reflective strips on your bike to be more visible to other motorists. Avoid being in the blind spots of cars and trucks by following three to four seconds behind the vehicle in front of you.
  • Avoid weaving between lanes while riding. Be sure to use your signals and stick to the speed limit.
  • Be aware of loose sand and gravel placed on roadways during the winter.
  • Get proper training. Completing a motorcycle safety course can not only make you a better rider but save you money on your motorcycle insurance.

For Motorists

  • Be extra cautious on weekends, when more motorcyclists take to the road.
  • Provide motorcyclists adequate room to maneuver. Follow at least three to four seconds behind them.
  • Allow extra maneuvering room in areas with potholes, pavement transitions and railroad crossings. Motorcyclists may need to slow down, stop or adjust their lane position.
  • Never try to share a lane with a motorcycle. Motorcycles have the same right to a full lane as any other vehicle.
  • If a motorcycle is nearby, check your mirrors carefully before changing lanes. Motorcycles may be in your blind spots or difficult to see because of their smaller size.
  • Don’t drive distracted and be ready for the unexpected.

AAA reports that most accident involving motorcycles occurs when cars fail to check their blind spots before pulling out in front of a motorcycle. They encourage all drivers to double and triple-check their blind spots this spring and summer.

For more motorcycle safety information and to find local training courses, visit the Motorcycle Safety Foundation website at www.msf-usa.org.

Chip O'Brien

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