Motorcycle crashes up from last year, down overall

Motorcycle crashes up from last year, down overall

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by Stephanie Zepelin

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on July 25, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 4:54 AM

BOISE -- With the sunny weather people are spending more time outside, and that includes bikers. This might be a reason that numbers of biker fatalities are up from last year.

It was the 1980s when Stacey "Ax" Axmaker got on his first motorcycle. Now he teaches motorcycle safety to biker and drivers. He knows crashes happen because they've happened to him.

Axmaker says the weather may be playing a part in more bikers on the road.

"This year so far the unofficial tally of fatalities in idaho is ten. Last year at this time it was six," said Axmaker.

He said deaths are down overall since 2007. But who's causing the accidents?

"In digging into the last several years of fatal crashes in Idaho we're showing about 70 to 75 percent seems to be rider error involved. This year just following the news reports it looks like there's a lot more what look to be car driver caused," he said.

Tuesday night an off-duty Spoken Police officer was riding in North Idaho. He crashed his bike. A truck following behind hit him and fled the scene. The officer, 47-year-old Kurt Henson, died.

Since April, we've seen nine motorcycle crashes. Five people were injured. Four of the crashes were fatal for the bikers. Ax said it doesn't matter who has the right of way; cars rule the road.

"Either way, whether it's my fault riding my bike or some car driver's, I'm one who's vulnerable. I'm the one whos much more liekyl to get hurt."

Ax said most drivers aren't programmed to look for motorcycles. He asks you to look twice.

For bikers, he says cornering skills and what you wear are critical.

For anyone on the road, Axmaker says keep your eyes up.

"If you can see the hazards, you can do something about them. If you dont see them there's nothing you can do," said Axmaker.

If you'd like to learn about motorcycle safety (as a driver or biker), you can visit  Idaho STAR's website.
 

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