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Authorities urge safety as nicer weather brings out more motorcycles

Nicer weather means motorcyclists are ready for the roads. But it's always important to practice safety. This weekend - there were 3 motorcycle crashes - only one wasn't fatal.
Posted at 6:49 PM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 19:49:01-04

OAKLAND, Iowa. (KMTV) - Nicer weather means motorcyclists are ready for the roads. But it's always important to practice safety.

There were 3 motorcycle crashes this past weekend, and only one wasn't fatal.

Ryan DeVault with the Iowa State Patrol has sound advice for motorcyclists and drivers.

"We associate almost all of our accidents with the uptick we're seeing in distracted driving, also excessive speeds," DeVault said.

According to Iowa State Patrol, motorcyclists are more at risk for injuries or death than regular motorists.

"If you are involved in an accident on a motorcycle, you are going to increase those odds four times in the injury department," DeVault said. "The other thing we look at, you're 27 times more likely to be killed if you are driving a motorcycle as opposed to driving a car."

Motorcycles also have fewer safety features than cars. Iowa had 63 motorcycle fatalities in 2020. According to data from the Nebraska Department of Transportation, there were 25 motorcycle fatalities in the state in 2019.

Iowa's motorcycle law is slightly different from Nebraska's.

"Wear a DOT-approved helmet," DeVault said. "We do not have a helmet law here in the state of Iowa but it will highly improve your chance of survival."

Lt. Michael Grummert with Nebraska State Patrol says wearing a helmet protects the most vital part of your body.

"Make sure you are wearing high visibility material on whatever you are wearing because if you do that, it makes it easier when you're driving down to see that," Grummert said.

Grummert wants you to enjoy your life but do it with the safety of yourself - and others - in mind.

"A lot of times, people aren't looking for motorcycles. Every once in a while and you just need to be mindful of what's happening around you and that's how you are going to be safe," Grummert said.

Iowa State Patrol also has driver safety tips: take extra time at intersections to double-check for smaller motorcyclists and increase the distance between you and the person in front of you.