SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU)– With temperatures continuing to warm up, motorcyclists are hitting the streets and law enforcement officials are reminding Siouxlanders to keep their eyes out for riders on the road.
May is motorcycle awareness month and according to the Iowa State Patrol in 2022 there were 954 crashes involving motorcycles, with 44 in Woodbury County.
“You know the first thing that people do when they crash into a motorcycle, they’ll say I did not see them,” said Trooper Karey Yaneff with the Iowa State Patrol.
“People kinda get in bad habits over the winter time, and one of the things we’ve really noticed is that you just kinda look once maybe either way and you just move on,” said Jeff Pope, assistant coordinator with A.B.A.T.E Iowa.
Pope once witnessed the aftermath of a collision involving a vehicle and motorcyclist.
“The motorcycle was up on its end and I mean its front tire was on the ground the back tire was stuck in the driver’s side back window. And she had been thrown probably about 20-25 feet beyond the car. Turns out that the driver of the other vehicle saw one group of motorcycles go past, saw another group of motorcycles coming, but didn’t see the one single rider in between ’em,” said Pope.
Pope says drivers aren’t always paying attention to the road.
“If you were to drive down the street right now and look left, look right there’s gonna be people that their heads down in there laps and they’re driving,” Pope said.
Yaneff said the best way for motorcyclists to stay safe while riding is by driving defensively and making themselves visible.
“Wearing dark clothing, obviously that’s a cool thing to do, but wearing a light-colored vest, or light jackets, light-colored helmets. Anything that’s gonna help them attract and make sure the motor vehicles are seeing them,” Yaneff said.
“Be aware of each other, respect each other, at the same time think about what happens if an accident happens here,” Pope said.
While motorcyclists aren’t required to wear helmets in Iowa, law enforcement officials strongly encourage putting on a helmet every time you’re going for a ride.