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Missouri State Highway Patrol urges motorcycle safety after three crashes over the weekend


When the sun's out and the skies are clear you may see more people bringing out their motorcycle for a ride.

Sgt. Kyle Green, a spokesperson for the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Troop F, tells ABC 17 from late spring to early fall is the peak riding season. With more bikers out on the roads, there is more opportunity for motor accidents.

"Well, as temperatures warm up, usually late spring through early fall is when we have the majority of our traffic crashes involving motorcycles," Green said. "And that's just because there are a lot more of them out."

Troop F responded to three different motorcycle crashes over the weekend, with four victims total. Two are reported to have serious injuries, one has moderate injuries and one has minor injuries.

The Missouri Department of Transportation, or MoDOT, reported that 175 motorcyclists were killed on Missouri roads in 2023. That is a 14 percent increase from the previous year that saw 153 total fatalities.

Sgt. Green says he thinks the increase in deaths is due to the 2020 Missouri law change that does not require motorcyclists over the age of 26 to wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle.

"Unfortunately, we have less people wearing helmets out there," Green said. "And the crashes, you know, those injuries and stuff like that were taking place before, the severity was reduced with wearing a helmet. Now, individuals are not wearing a helmet and unfortunately are are paying the price with their lives."

Piero Notardonato, the General Sales Manager of Blacktop Harley Davidson, tells ABC 17 a helmet is just one of the many important pieces of safety gear you can wear when you ride a motorcycle.

"You want to make sure that you ride a bike that you're comfortable on and have all the proper safety gear from riding boots to chaps, leathers, leather jacket, helmet, gloves, eye protection. Those are the most important things you can do to protect yourself on your motorcycle," Notardonato said.

He also adds that bright clothing that makes you easily visible to other drivers can keep riders safe on the roads.

"People in cars don't necessarily see you, so make sure you're seen wearing fluorescent clothing if you can," Notardonato said. "Anything that makes you stand out from the rest of the crowd on the road."

Sgt. Green further reinforced the importance of motorcyclist safety, but also explained the importance of awareness and safe driving practices from surrounding drivers on the roads as well.

"One of the main crashes that we investigate is individuals that may be pulling out of a parking lot or making a left turn somewhere and they pull into the path of a motorcycle that they didn't see because they're looking for a larger vehicle and not a smaller motorcycle," Green said. "So making sure that you physically turn your head and look before changing lanes, not just relying on the technology of a car to try to let you know that somebody might be there."

So far, Troop F has had zero motorcycle deaths for 2024.

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Olivia Hayes

Olivia is a summer intern at ABC 17 News.


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