Warmer temperatures bring the motorcycle riding season into full force. And more riders on the roads means the possibility of more crashes and fatalities.
Since the beginning of the year, four riders have been killed on Utah’s roads and 177 accidents have involved motorcycles.
Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Jeff Nigbur, who rides for both work and recreation, urges all riders to take safety seriously.
“I have a lot of personal experience and been riding for 12 years with the UHP Motor Squad,” he says. “Crashes can be prevented and taking precautions while you ride could save your life.”
Nigbur says that riders who don’t show enough respect for their bike may make a careless — and potentially fatal — mistake.
“Most of the crashes on bikes that I see are those who are speeding too fast for their own abilities,” he explains. “Riders take corners too fast and too wide, and accelerate too quickly when first starting out.”
Nigbur also reminds riders that wearing the proper riding gear — including a helmet and appropriate clothing — helps reduce the risk of a fatality.
Of course, not all accidents are the fault of the rider. Drivers also need to pay extra attention, as Nigbur explains that motorcycles are harder for people to see.
Nigbur says one part of defensive driving on a motorcycle is the understanding that riders should always be prepared for the way others are driving.
To help motorcycle enthusiasts practice defensive riding techniques, Nigbur encourages riders to take a safety course like the one offered at Salt Lake Community College.
Motorcycle Safety Education courses are taught year-round at different locations throughout the valley. The beginner’s course is $200 and the experienced rider course is $80.
Riders can register online or in person at the Miller Campus. Attendance at all sessions is required to pass.
A scooter safety course is $200 for bikes between 100 cc and 350 cc in size.
Anyone interested in upcoming rider safety courses can call 801-957-5200 or visit the website for more information.