May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. This is the time of year, with the warmer temperatures and summer just around the corner, now is a good time to bring the motorcycle safety awareness to the forefront.

Many riders in Bismarck and Mandan have already taken the two wheel (or 3 wheels) to the roads and enjoying the ride with warmer temperatures. We're so lucky to have some of the best back roads with curves and beautiful scenery in North Dakota. And looking at the latest statistics, we're pretty safe according to the rest of the country.

David McNew / Getty Images

According to the latest figures (2014) by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), from January through September, North Dakota had a total of 9 motorcycle deaths. Nine deaths was the same number of deaths in NoDak in the previous year.(2013) The three other states with lower motorcycle fatalities in 2014 were-

  • West Virginia- 7 deaths
  • Nebraska- 7 deaths
  • Alabama - 9 deaths

Riders face many dangers from automobile drivers not looking twice at intersections to animals in the roadway. In the early morning hours and late evening hours, locally, deer is a huge danger for motorcycles.

Plus, this time of year, sand and gravel remain on many of the city streets from the winter season.

The survey also indicated, across the country, riders that operate impaired by alcohol is a huge problem in many states. Many fatalities were from riders not wearing helmets. The helmet debate will rage on forever.

As a rider, the best advice I have was given was "dress from the crash, not the ride". Which means, always wear protective clothing and gear, no matter how short of a cruise you're taking on your bike!