UTAH (ABC4) – According to the Utah Highway Safety Office, there were 1,148 motorcycle crashes in 2021 and 53 so far this year. Last year’s crashes peaked during the month of June at 177.

Utah Highway Patrol says that in the summer months when more motorcyclists ride, accidents increase.

They shared how to help keep these numbers down.

Grant Holmes has been riding motorcycles for around seventeen years. It’s in his family — his father rode too.

In 2018, he had a serious accident. A driver turned on the side street across traffic at night and Holmes was hit, putting him in the hospital for a week.

“I spent probably a solid four months for recovery, and then about a year a full recovery from it,” he said.  

What he wants people to know is to be on the lookout for bikes, especially since some people might ride more with current gas prices, and as temperatures warm up. 

“A lot of times people just aren’t aware, they aren’t looking for them,” Holmes said.

He says that although accidents happen, it’s important to do what you can to protect yourself — like making sure your bike is running properly and you’re wearing the right gear.

“The more you can do to mitigate the risks, and decrease the chances of seriousness, the better,” he said.

Sgt. Cameron Roden with Utah Highway Patrol says that awareness is huge on the road for both drivers and motorcyclists. Especially since motorcyclists can sometimes be difficult to see, Sgt. Roden advises that people double-check their blind spots, especially in areas like intersections.

And of course, put away any distractions.

“Make sure that we are focused on driving and driving only and not letting other things take our minds, our hands out of driving, that way we are focused and can react,” Sgt. Roden said.

For motorcyclists, he says to drive defensively, learn how properly enter and exit the HOV lane and know Utah laws, especially lane filtering on the right roads.

“On roads less than 45 miles per hour, traffic is stopped. At least two or more lanes have to be in order to lane filter,” Sgt. Roden said.

He also says it’s important to try and avoid in being in blind spots and maintain speed.

“We hope as we start this spring and head into these warmer summer months, that we can keep motorcyclists and motorists together. That we are on the same page and keep everybody safe.”

Both Holmes and Sgt. Roden emphasized the importance of protecting yourself when riding a motorcycle, and they said the best way to do that is to make sure you always wear a helmet.