Increase in local motorcycle crashes lead experts to urge caution, safety classes

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 5:08 PM CDT
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WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - It continues to be a dangerous week for motorcyclists in North Dakota as at least four crashes involving bikes have happened since Friday evening, three of those ending in fatalities.

“It is scary and it’s very, very sad,” ABATE Motorcycle Safety Instructor Marg Hohnadel said.

Hohnadle urges vehicle drivers to keep a few things in mind when on the road this summer, but emphasizes the responsibility to keep motorcycle riders safe doesn’t just fall on other drivers.

“Look twice and look again. Motorcycles are small and we need to be aware that they are on the road just as much as anybody else,” she said.

She also says it’s important to give motorcyclists space and to watch your blind spots closely before changing lanes.

As for her advice for bikes, Hohnadel says it’s simple: “Slow down just a little bit.”

She also emphasizes for motorcyclists to ride as if you’re not seen, and preaches the acronym “ATGATT.”

“All the gear, all the time; Because when you’re not wearing your gear, a lot more things can happen,” she explained.

Hohnadel says safety classes like those at ABATE in West Fargo reduce the likelihood of crashes up to 70% even for the most experienced riders as they reinforce safety measures some may not know or simply forgot.

“Over the winter months we have a tendency to get rusty on our skills. Come out here, get freshened up on your skills; It’s the best way to do it before the riding season really kicks off,” Hohnadel said.

She says even with 15 years of riding under her belt, you’ll still see her on the training course; All in an effort to be the safest rider she can when sharing the road.

“Everybody on the road, whether you’re a biker, or whether you ride in a car, truck, whatever, everybody on the road has family and friends,” Hohnadel said. “Just because you ride on two wheels instead of four wheels does not mean you’re a bad person, or that you’re less safe. A motorcycle is as safe as the person that’s riding on it.”

ABATE has classes running every weekend and many weeknights now through September. If you’re interested in signing up, click here.

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