Warmer weather is here and that means more people on the roads, but not all travelers are on four wheels. Motorcyclists are hitting the open road too. So what can you do to make sure everyone gets home safely? We have the details.
“I would probably say about 45 or 50.”
Motorcyclist Evan Hunt says that about 45 or 50 degrees are when the weather is finally nice enough for riding. He says the current weather is perfect for a cruise around town, but perfect weather doesn’t mean perfect driving.
Hunt said, “Being on a bike is very dangerous. You have to be very mindful of your surroundings.”
In 2017, over 5,000 people died in motorcycle crashes in the U.S. That number dropped in 2019 by 5 percent, but Hunt says the number is still far too high.
“I’ve had close calls where cars may not have seen me come out of an intersection. They will kind of ease out and see me at the last second. But as a biker, we always prepare at an intersection anyway,” he said.
Hunt says bikers have to be on the lookout out for drivers of cars, but responsible biking starts with each individual biker.
“Motorcycles are meant to be fun. And having fun comes with a risk, and the risk is some people don’t know how to control themselves on the bike,” he added.
More than 30,000 motorcycles are registered in North Dakota. One of those belongs to Capt. Jason Kraft with the Ward County Sheriff’s Department. He says he’s had a few near misses as well.
“There are times when you are driving maybe in the blind spot of another motorist and they start to change lanes,” said Kraft.
He says the best advice he can give, pay close attention.
Kraft added, “You look that second time and you see something you didn’t see the first. So really we caution people to help prevent and accident from happening by doing that.”
Kraft says bikers should also remember to wear bright colors to be seen by drivers. And even though motorcyclists over the age of 18 aren’t legally required to wear helmets, he thinks you should never ride without one.
Bikers should also be aware of potholes and rough road conditions, especially during construction season.