SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah (News4Utah) – Eight motorcyclists have died on Utah roads since January, up from the number of deaths from the same time frame last year.
According to UDOT, last year by the end of April, five motorcyclists were killed. This month alone, four motorcyclists have died in crashes, some of them involving other vehicles.
“We are invisible on the roads,” said Michael Martinez, who works at The Chapel Motorcycle Shop in Murray. “If you don’t ride [motorcycles], you don’t pay attention to us,” he said.
Martinez and his friends blame distracted driving for many of the misfortunes they encounter on the roads in Utah. They want drivers to be more vigilant and check their blind spot for bikers. They also said some motorcyclists are not obeying traffic laws as written.
In Utah, helmets are required for motorcyclists under the age of 18, but last week, Utah Highway Patrol urged everyone who uses a bike to wear a helmet.
“In my law enforcement career, I have seen dead motorcycle riders who would not be dead if they wore a helmet,” said Det. Ken Hansen with Unified Police Dept.
Hansen is also an avid motorcyclist.
He said distracted and hurried motorists are also to blame for making the roads dangerous for motorcyclists.
Drivers should always look twice over their shoulder and be on the lookout for bikers, authorities tell News4Utah.
Riders should ensure their bike is in good working order before hitting the road, and always be extra vigilant against drivers who may not see them.
May 1 marks the beginning of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.