How dangerous is riding a motorcycle in Minnesota?

Spring in all of its glory has returned to the Midwest and Minnesotans who revel in the joys of riding motorcycles are understandably eager to get back out on the road after the winter months. However, as freeing as it can be to ride a motorcycle, the inherent dangers associated with being on two wheels are ever-present. Motorists in cars, trucks, SUVs and other vehicles often make decisions that put bikers in harm’s way. But, just how dangerous is riding a motorcycle in Minnesota?

A look at motorcycle deaths around Minnesota

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records indicate that motorcycle fatalities comprise a significant portion of the state’s overall vehicular fatalities. In 2014, for example, 46 out of 361 deaths were motorcyclists. In 2013, 61 out of 387 people killed in vehicular accidents were bikers. In 2012, 2011 and 2010 there were 55, 42 and 48 motorcyclists killed in accidents, respectively.

Motorcycle fatalities around Ramsey County

In looking at the fatality records for Ramsey County and its four neighboring counties, the impact of motorcycle crashes is seen everywhere. Between 2010 and 2014, there were 83 motorcyclist deaths in all. A breakdown by county is seen as follows:

  • Hennepin County had the most motorcyclist deaths with 31.
  • Anoka County had the second highest number of fatalities with 17.
  • Dakota County was similar to Anoka County with 16 deaths total.
  • Ramsey County was fourth on the list with a total of 11 biker fatalities.
  • Finally, there were eight deaths recorded in Washington County.

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the total number of statewide biker deaths from January 1, 2015 through Labor Day of that year surpassed the entire 12 months of 2014.

Across the country, there were more than 4,480 motorcyclist fatalities in 2014 per the Governors Highway Safety Association.

News headlines confirm the risk

A Fox9 report tells of how one motorcyclist’s death is being used to increase awareness about the dangers of texting while driving. A student at the University of Minnesota was thrown with his bike 30 feet after being hit by a woman who was distracted by a text while driving. The young man died as a result of the crash.

Over the Labor Day weekend last year, several crashes happened around the state that caused both injury and death to multiple bikers. The Twin Cities Pioneer Press explains one of the accidents happened on Minnesota 120 and killed one female biker and injured other riders. An SUV hit two bikes head on after failing to correct a maneuver. Another head-on collision killed a 29-year-old motorcyclist on US 169.

What should motorcyclists do?

Motorcyclists deserve the right to ride and share the road just like drivers of other vehicles. When tragedy strikes riders or their loved ones should contact an attorney for help. Getting the right assistance can be very important when seeking compensation for injuries or for the loss of a life.

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