This past March saw the first death of a motorcycle rider in Minnesota in 2012. 2011 saw 22 deaths by September this was 5 ahead of that time last year. We have to keep working to get back below the record low of 24 in 1997. But there are many more riders. Experts have been pointing to increased gas prices, overall economics, and the advantages concerning parking as the reason for more riders. Others just point out the joy of getting out on the open road. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety numbers show 112,551 registered riders in 1996, 149,000 in 2002 and 224,625 in 2008 and there are more now more then 230,000.
A past Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial got a number of comments after it made the following suggestions to deal with the increase:
- Increased training of new drivers.
- More emphasis on sober riding.
- The Increased use of safety equipment.
- Drivers paying more attention on the roads.
The discussion about helmets dominated most of the responses. Clearly, this is one there may not ever be an agreement on, but as to the other suggestions, they really make a lot of sense. Every new driver needs to get the all important training that riding a motorcycle isn't like a bike or a car.
As a law firm that represents a large number of riders, we've seen the devastation caused by car/bike collisions. If we can go into the rest of the riding season with an eye to reducing vs. increasing the number of deaths it will make for a much better finish.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.