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Motorcycle crashes increase with warmer temperatures

Emergency crews responded to three motorcycle crashes in Columbia within eight days.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, crews respond to more motorcycle crashes as the weather gets warmer simply because more motorcyclists are out on the roads.

Last Monday, Tyler Davis, 23, was killed when his motorcycle hit the side of a Jeep on Providence Road. Exactly one week later, Columbia emergency crews responded to two more motorcycle crashes hours apart.

“I think anybody that’s ever ridden has had a couple of close calls,” motorcyclist Jim Knapp told ABC 17 News.

In 2015, there were more than 2,000 motorcycle crashes in Missouri.

So far this year, the rate of all deadly crashes in the state has gone up by 18 percent, according to Sgt. Scott White.

“Usually when we have warmer temperatures, we’re going to have more motorcycle crashes,” White said.

Lower gas prices may be another reason for the rise in crashes, as a larger number of vehicles are out on the roads, according to White. He said that is one more reason why drivers need to be watching for motorcyclists.

“Especially at intersections or when they’re making a left turn, White said.” “And then check that natural blind spot whenever you’re merging over, make sure that you look over your shoulder and don’t just use your mirrors. And give motorcyclists plenty of room.”

Knapp said in most cases, motorcycle wrecks can be prevented.

“More often than not, the motorcyclist, if they had been driving defensively, could’ve avoided the accident almost every single time,” Knapp said.

According to White, the top five factors that lead to motorcycle crashes in Missouri include: driving too fast for conditions, improper lane change, inattention, driving on the wrong side of the road when not passing and alcohol.

“We find that about 19 percent of the motorcycle crashes that we work involve alcohol or impairment,” White said.

Most motorcycle crashes in the state happen in urban areas. But most deadly motorcycle crashes happen in rural areas, White said.

The highway patrol said it will have extra enforcement efforts to keep people safe with the extra drivers out on the roads this time of year.

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