New reports show motorcycle deaths up 43% in MN

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(ABC 6 News) – The number of motorcycle deaths in Minnesota has increased 43% since 2019 according to new data from Lending Tree, that’s the 7th highest increase nationwide.

According to the report there were over 5,500 motorcycle fatalities nationwide, the highest annual number on record.

"It makes us want to almost hang up our boots right now and call it a year. But, I think we all have the mindset of we don’t want this kind of stuff to ruin what we do," said Twisted Saints Riding Club Vice President Bob Dean.

This summer Dean has witnessed first-hand the carnage left behind from a fatal motorcycle crash, "Just yesterday we were at a funeral for a fellow biker. It’s really sad when something that hits so close to home."

According to the new report, there are three deaths for every 10,000 motorcycle owners.

A possible reason for the uptick could be helmet use, it has gone from 54% of riders wearing one down to 45%.

Dean adds, it’s also up to vehicle drivers to lower the number of crashes, "People are just not paying attention. People are either just on their cellphones or just not paying attention and not seeing us. We don’t know what else to do."

Mower County Sheriff Steve Sandvick says dangerous crashes can also be caused by motorcycle riders themselves.

"Making sure you’re riding within your abilities. Make sure you’re not riding too fast, not anywhere near out of control. There again, speed is a major factor that we see with motorcycles because they are just going too fast," said Sandvick.

In June a 17-year-old lost his life riding a motorcycle, authorities say he was going too fast and that another driver couldn’t see him, and they crashed.

New statistics from the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office show speeding tickets for July were up 104% compared to 2020.

As a state, Minnesota is committed to the Toward Zero Deaths Campaign and keeping everyone safe while driving.

"We want to go home to our families, our kids, so just please be aware," said Dean.