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To the editor:
May is motorcycle awareness month so I thought I’d enlighten you with some shocking statistics from the DOT regarding motorcycle fatalities.
Last year alone there were 49 fatalities involving motorcycles, with there being three deaths already this year, in Iowa solely.
A majority of the accidents involved were motor vehicles, and the most common statements given to authorities after a collision with a motorcyclist was, “ I never saw him.”
This could be due to the distracted driving (most likely cell phone usage) or the lack of basic driving knowledge and experience.
There are a number of ways to help drivers recognize when a motorcyclists is nearing. Listen. Turn off the radio, shut off the phone, tell the wife to pipe down, and just listen. Loud pipes do save lives. Typically, you’ll hear the motorcyclists long before you see them.
Also, pay attention to hand signals. Some more experienced motorcyclists will utilize hand signals (in addition to turning signals) when turning, to give oncoming & rear following traffic vehicles additional time to slow/stop their vehicle.
Also, local farmers be weary of leaving grass clippings on the road while mowing ditches, these are extremely treacherous for motorcyclists.
As an avid, motorcycle enthusiast (I dare not say biker, as that title is now reserved for the weekend warrior, who rides occasionally, on their 50k brand new Harley, with the equivalent spent on overpriced clothing merchandise, of course) I’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled to 39 states, over the course of 25 years riding a motorcycle almost as old as me.
Both our children ride over 2,000 miles per year, as well. Its a great way to explore Iowa, or just go grab some groceries.
With the proper knowledge of basic traffic laws & a little more attention given to the motorcyclists, these needless fatalities could be avoided and we could make Iowa a much safer place to ride!