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Motorcyclist awareness begins as weather warms up

Motorcyclists are starting to bring out their bikes again as warmer weather is coming back to eastern Idaho. That also means we need to be careful while sharing the roads with them.

It’s literally a two-way street for both motorcyclists and drivers to look out for each other on the roads.

From blind spots in our cars and trucks, to motorcyclists signaling correctly to traffic on which way they’re turning, it’s really a collective effort to keep everyone safe on the roads.

“Cars and motorcyclists don’t mesh well when they get into crashes. Cars, 99 percent of the time, will always win,” said Officer Malin Reynolds.

Over the past 17 years working as a patrol officer for the Idaho Falls Police Force, Officer Reynolds has unfortunately seen multiple motorcycle accidents.

According to Officer Reynolds, more motorcycle crashes that occur in Idaho Falls happen at busy intersections just like the intersection of West Yellowstone and Lincoln roads.

“People come to an intersection and pull out in front of a motorcycle that they didn’t see at the same time,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds says all it takes is a second glance to check your surroundings to avoid these types of accidents.

But motorcyclists also have responsibility to keep the roads safe. Chester’s Grand Teton Harley-Davidson General Manager Jim Wilson offers motorcycle training lessons that help motorcyclists learn how to keep safe on the roads.

Blind spots on cars can cause a dangerous situation for motorcyclists.

“It’s important as a rider to create an area or bubble around you so other drivers on the road can see you. Make sure that when you are passing or changing lane you let them know either with hand signals or with blinkers. We greatly appreciate drivers who give motorcyclists enough space on the roads in case an emergency occurs,” said Wilson.

Another interesting fact: Swerving to avoid a pothole instead of driving over it helps motorcyclists know what’s ahead of them.

In 2011, 489 motorcycle crashes occurred in Idaho.

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