ROCHESTER, Minn. – In just four days, six motorcyclists were killed on Minnesota roads.
Experts say it shouldn’t matter whether you’re on two wheels or four, everyone should be alert on roadways and aware of their surroundings.
Charlie Milligan has been riding a motorcycle for 50 years, and used to serve as the safety director at Rochester Harley Davidson.
He knows the dangers, and urges riders to see the road and other drivers. “SEE” is an acronym for: Search, Evaluate, Execute.
“We gotta share the road with a lot of stuff – cars, other motorcycles, buses, trucks, pedestrians, bicycles, critters,” Milligan said. “You name it, we gotta share the road with it.”
Bill Shaffer is with the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center and said these dangers are a problem on the road every year.
“Other drivers failing to yield the right away remains the number one cited factor in multi-vehicle crashes between a motorcycle and another vehicle,” Shaffer said.
Both Shaffer and Mulligan say it’s a two-way street, meaning everyone needs to be vigilant on the road.
Milligan said there’s a difference between crashes and accidents. Accidents can be prevented, but crashes can’t. Because they’re a possibility, he thinks motorcyclists should be doing all they can to prevent injuries through protective wear.
He said it’s imperative for people to be prepared and wear the right gear – like a helmet, jacket, and boots – before they hop on a bike.
“You never know when it's going to happen,” Milligan said. “You can plan for it happening, and if it doesn't happen you're money ahead, and you're fun ahead.”
In Iowa, there’s no law requiring motorcyclists to wear a helmet. In Minnesota, you have to wear a helmet if you’re younger than 18 years old