It may not seem like it with all of the recently reported crashes involving motorcyclists, but motorcycle crashes are down this year compared to the past two years.
According to data provided to BMTN by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, there were 191 crashes involving motorcycles from Jan. 1 to May 31 this year.
That's way down from 2017 when there were 267 crashes, and further down from 271 crashes in 2016.
Nine of the crashes through the end of May resulted in a death, which is also down from 2017 (10) and 2016 (11) during the same timeframe.
That said, a higher percentage have been deadly this year, with a person dying in 5.7 percent of crashes compared to 3.7 percent in 2017 and 4 percent in 2016.
There have been 55 serious injuries caused in motorcycle crashes, this too is down from 72 in 2017 and 74 in 2016.
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It's also worth noting that motorcycle crashes involving wildlife are down this year, again despite a lot being reported as of late. In all, 11 crashes have been caused by wildlife, like deer and moose, even a horse in a fatal accident in southeast Minnesota last week.
The number of motorcycle-wildlife crashes through the end of May the last two years was 23 and 19, respectively.
It should be noted that all 2017 and 2018 data is preliminary, the DPS says.
The Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center offers these safety tips to riders when they encounter an animal in the roadway:
- Slow down well before reaching the animal if you can.
- Use both brakes or emergency braking to stop.
- If you can't stop in time, and have room, try to drive slowly behind the animal.
Riders can also take crash-avoidance courses, which you can find details about at motorcyclesafety.org.