Motorcycle safety concerns raised after string of weekend crashes

Published: Apr. 30, 2018 at 5:29 PM CDT
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A string of motorcycle crashes over the weekend is raising safety concerns. Riders said they are happy to hit the road again, but some said sharing the lanes can make for a terrifying experience.

“This is the time of year where people have to get back into that mindset that yeah motorcycles are out there,” J&L Harley-Davidson riding coach, David Huntimer said.

Motorcyclists are revving up and taking off.

“It’s been a very, very long winter and people are eager to get out there,” J&L Harley-Davidson co-owner, Jimmy Entenman said.

Crashes are already on the rise as roads start to fill with motorcycles.

“Even if you're in the right, and there’s an accident, you're going to be the one that’s injured. So as a motorcyclist you have to be extra vigilant. Always assume that even if that driver’s looking at you, assume that car does not see you,” Huntimer said.

Sharing the road with all those cars and motorcyclists, are some drivers in blue.

“Police officers have a lot of training, but even with all that training they still combat the same things that a regular motorcyclist does. That other driver that’s not used to seeing them out there on the roadway,” Huntimer said.

Wearing proper protective gear can mean the difference between life and death during a crash.

“The state of South Dakota does not have a helmet law. If you’re 18 years and younger you do have to wear a helmet. We’re very fortunate in the state we live in. It is a choice,” Entenman said.

J&L Harley-Davidson is doing their part to check out that protective gear.

“We encourage all of our customers to come on out. Bring in your old helmets. We’ll check them out. We'll inspect them,” Entenman said.

They said their riding academy is a great starting place for new riders to put up their kickstands.

“Just basic steps. How to get on the motorcycle. How to get off the motorcycle. How to start the motorcycle and stop the motorcycle safely. Then we start to get more into the riding,” Huntimer said.

J&L Harley-Davidson said it’s important for everyone from the beginner to the experienced rider to refresh their memory on the basics of riding. Motorcyclists said their fellow drivers aren't the only concerns. Potholes and extra gravel from over the winter poses a danger this time of year as well.

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