Dozens of crashes paint a grim picture of motorcycle safety

This week, motorcyclists and motorcycle enthusiasts from around the nation are swarming to the Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™ in South Dakota. The event attracts bikers from all states, including Tennessee. Unfortunately, with the sheer amount of riders traveling to and from the event every year, the potential for serious accidents is all but unavoidable.

Sadly, the risk of injury stemming from crashes is already taking a toll on dozens of riders. According to preliminary reports, there have already been nearly 50 motorcycle accidents in the area.

Last year, according to reports from the South Dakota Highway Patrol, there were a total of 10 accidents causing injuries and zero fatal accidents during the rally. This year already, there have been 46 accidents causing injuries, including one involving a 70-year-old motorcyclist from Tennessee, and two fatal accidents.

Some of the accidents appear to have been caused by riders who lost control of their bikes or failed to look out for other riders.

However, there were other accidents caused by factors beyond the control of riders. For example, multiple motorcycle crashes happened because of large animals like deer and big horn sheep in the middle of the road. In another accident, a police vehicle made a U-turn and hit the front of a motorcycle. There were also accidents caused by a tow dolly tire coming loose and hitting a rider and a 19-year-old driver who was allegedly drunk and crashed into a motorcyclist.

The huge number of accidents that have already occurred is certainly cause for concern. However, this should also serve as an important reminder that motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable on the road. One small mistake that may have no impact on people in a car can prove to be disastrous for someone on a motorcycle.

Hopefully, the accident rate will not continue to rise during the rally. For those of us back here in Tennessee, this may be a good time to revisit safe driving habits when sharing the road with bikers and keep an especially keen eye out for them in order to avoid a catastrophic collision.

Source: Black Hills Pioneer, “Sturgis Rally Report,” Aug. 3, 2015