Spring brings out motorcycle crashes
The spring weather is bringing out the motorcycle crashes in Idaho. On Monday, a man from Boise was injured, and over the weekend an Idaho Falls man died after being thrown from his motorcycle.
The reason there are more accidents in the springtime is because motorists don't look for bikers during winter, so when spring comes around they forget to look for them. Also, after the snow melts, riders need to look out for residue left on the roads from plowing. Local riders said when bikers turn, this can compromise their traction.
"It is always scary when you are going 50 miles an hour or more that something will come out in front of you and you can't avoid it," said motorcyclist Ray Taylor.
Taylor has been riding for 15 years. He said safety is always his No. 1 concern.
"Before I started riding motorcycles, I didn't notice motorcycles as much as I do now. You want to look for them because they are not very big and most of them have headlights on," he said.
Motorists should also watch out for a wave of new bikers who get their learning permits in early spring. Ryan Palmer, an instructor for Idaho Star, said he is seeing more people take safety classes locally.
"When you go out on the road, you are not protected like you are in a car. So when you crash, what you're wearing is going to protect you," Palmer said.
He said some of the items riders should wear for protection include a Department of Transportation approved helmet, full-fingered gloves and a jacket with reflective gear on it.
Spring also means riding long distances and a greater chance for accidents. Idaho Star said there were 63 motorcycle fatalities in Idaho from 2011 through 2013.
"As a rider, make sure you always look up, keep distance between cars and make sure you always turn your head on turns," Palmer said.
Idaho Star said corners account for more than 40 percent of the fatalities in Idaho within the last four years. You can take a local safety course with Idaho Star. Classes start at $105. For more information click here, http://idahostar.org/.
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