In the wake of Minnesota's first motorcycle fatality in 2015, drivers and motorcyclists alike are being reminded to stay safe and share the roads responsibly. The unfortunate accident occurred on Sunday, March 15 in Santiago Township, which is located in Sherburne County. The motorcyclist, a 53-year-old man, ran off a county road and into a mailbox around 6:30 p.m. Based on preliminary investigations, police believe speed was a factor in the incident. Also, the driver was not wearing a helmet. No other injuries or fatalities were reported, but the incident is a sobering reminder of the very real risks that are involved in being on the road.
Over the last several years, the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center has teamed up with other agencies to help reduce the number of fatal motorcycle accidents that happen in the state each year. 60 motorcycle fatalities happened in 2013, but the number dropped to 44 in 2014. It is hoped it will be lower still in 2015. However, the first fatality in 2014 happened right around the same time as the most recent one -- it took place on March 11 -- so it is still up to motorists and motorcyclists to engage in safe driving habits to keep those numbers as low as possible.
If you'll be hitting the roads on your Harley or other motorcycle this year, keep the following safety tips in mind to minimize your risk of being involved in an accident:
As a motorist, there's a lot you can do to prevent motorcycle accidents and fatalities in 2015. Most tips follow a similar theme: Always be on the lookout for motorcycles. For instance, always wait a little longer after a large vehicle turns to ensure a bike wasn't hidden next to it or behind it. Look twice before making a left turn, and always check your blind spots twice before changing lanes. Maintain a safe distance behind motorcycles -- never cut in front of them. Finally, whenever possible, make eye contact with motorcyclists and nod to let them know you see them.
Hopefully, 2015 will turn out to be the safest year on record for motorcyclists. Still, if you or a loved one is injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, you need to take steps to protect your rights immediately. We can help. Call Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben for a free consultation today at 1-612-377-7777 or 1-800-752-4265 (toll-free).