Although May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, The Idaho Transportation Department released data that showed that five motorcyclists have already died this year.
Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is off to a rough start, according to Local News 8.
In 2014, total fatalities reached 25, according to The Idaho Transportation Department.
Brent Ward, a sales manager at Rexburg Motorsports, thinks motorcycle safety is important and he said he follows certain regulations to ensure it.
“We are very serious about motorcycle safety, on road and off road,” Ward said. “Now, when customers come in for a road bike, they can’t even demo one without a motorcycle endorsement. You have to take a class and pass it to get that endorsement, so we are confident they have had the training.”
On May 3, Patrick Killian from Idaho Falls drove his motorcycle through a barbed wire fence in Utah County. Although he and his passenger were wearing helmets, Killian was pronounced dead on the scene and the female passenger is in critical condition, according to Local News 8.
Cameron Gross, a senior studying communication, rides his motorcycle to school twice a week and said he always takes the necessary safety precautions.
“I always wear a helmet, no matter what,” Gross said. “I always have riding gloves on as well. I wear a riding jacket if I am going out of town, when I will be traveling at freeway speeds.”
There were two motorcycle accidents in Idaho on May 2. One couple hit a deer on their Harley-Davidson near Soda Springs, and the other wrecked near Inkom. The motorcycle rider was not wearing a helmet, according to Local News 8.
Gross said he notices a lot of neglectful driving among cars on the street when he is on his motorcycle.
“As a rider, you can see a lot of things people do that you can’t in a car,” Gross said. “I see texting constantly. People do not look twice or check their blind spots.”
Gross said he hopes for student drivers to pay more attention to their surroundings while on the road, because motorcycles are sometimes hard to see.
Gross said he tries to never look at his phone while driving. He said he makes sure to always look twice before turning onto a road and tries to be as safe as possible.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is supporting Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month by promoting “Share the Road,” a movement that encourages drivers to allow ample room for motorcyclists to ensure safer travel, according to their website.
Kassidy Stailey, a junior studying biology, said she tries to be a safe and cautious driver.
“Sometimes motorcycles come out of nowhere,” Stailey said. “I am always looking out for them.”
According to the Idaho Transportation Department, almost 50 percent of fatal accidents in the state involve another vehicle.
Garth Gunderson, BYU-Idaho’s director of security and safety on campus, encourages drivers to be cautious and aware. Although the department is not allowed to enforce traffic laws on or off campus grounds, they work closely with police to ensure safety.
“The University has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Rexburg Police Department that agrees that the police will enforce all traffic laws on campus and public streets,” Gunderson said.