Each year more than half a million people travel to South Dakota to attend the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which takes place for 10 days in early August.
The rally started in 1938 and has grown in popularity and size in the subsequent decades. Before the rally, thousands of riders hit the road to participate in group rides throughout the Black Hills and Sturgis area.
If you are traveling to Sturgis on your bike or if you are a driver who encounters motorcyclists on the road, we’ve included these tips so that everyone can get where they’re going safely.
Safe Motorcycle-Riding Practices
Any time you are on your bike, make sure you follow these motorcycle safety tips:
- Take a motorcycle safety course. Even experienced riders who haven’t been on their bikes in a while can benefit from a refresher course.
- Use proper equipment, including headlights during the day and night, and make sure you wear a helmet, proper goggles and durable, reflective clothing.
- Drive defensively, especially at intersections, which are the location of 50% of all crashes, and put yourself in a position so that other drivers can see you.
- Never drink and ride.
- Watch for hazards on the road, such as railroad tracks, puddles, oil slicks, and gravel.
- Obey the rules of the road. Don’t speed, ride on the shoulder, or weave in and out of lanes.
How to Share the Road with Motorcycles
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in a crash between a motorcycle and another vehicle, it’s usually the other vehicle that violates the motorcyclist’s right of way. Often, it’s a visibility issue, as motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, and drivers may not be accustomed to seeing them in the flow of traffic.
Studies show that people who ride motorcycles or know people who ride are more cognizant of motorcycles in the flow of traffic. But even if you are not a biker, you can keep motorcyclists safe by following these safety tips:
- Always check your blind spots for motorcycles, which are less visible than cars or trucks.
- Exercise caution when passing a motorcycle.
- Use your turn signals. Make sure to give motorcycles behind you extra time to anticipate your turns or lane changes.
- Watch for motorcycles at intersections, especially when making turns. Take a second look at left turns to make sure the intersection is clear before turning.
- Stay in your lane. It’s dangerous to share lanes with other vehicles.
- Watch out for motorcycles in low-visibility conditions, especially at night. Increase your following distance, make sure you turn off your high-beams when you see an approaching motorcycle, and refrain from passing.
How Can The Olson Law Firm Help Me?
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident while traveling to Sturgis or any other time, call the motorcycle accident lawyers at Olson Law Firm as soon as possible. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s mistake, you may have the right to take action against the responsible party.
Let us help you seek justice. Call us to schedule a free consultation today.