RAPID CITY, S.D. — Motorcycle accidents have been on the rise in the Black Hills as of late.
“We’ve noticed an increase in some motorcycle accidents lately, I know two weeks ago there was a pretty bad one over in the construction zone,” said Billy Davis, a Sergeant with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. “Boulevard, so we just need to be aware of our surroundings, need to watch for other people, obviously be courteous, whether you’re a motorcycle rider or car driver.”
But the issue isn’t just with the accidents – at least three motorcycle fatal accidents have reported in as many weeks.
According to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, although the eight fatal accidents in 2021 are down from 10 at this time as compared to last year, it’s still too many. Those figures coming weeks before the 81st Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, in which the area’s population of riders – and accidents rise dramatically every year.
Law enforcement say they see accidents involving drivers new to the area or in their riding experience – operating out of their comfort zones.
“Most often times, we see motorcyclists who have been involved in an accident, usually riders who exceed their limitations or they don’t look fully through the situation at hand, especially in curves and especially out here on this side of the state,” said Trooper Taran Hunt, with the South Dakota Highway Patrol.
Before going out on a joy ride, Hunt says to check the following:
- Tire pressure
- Hand Controls
As the Rally approaches, in order to stay safe, riders and car drivers are advised to leave earlier to get to their destination to avoid speeding and aware of your surroundings at all times.
“It is just good practice right now to be careful, add extra time, I know with the construction my ride to work has went from eight minutes to 15 minutes, so you just have to account for that, not rush,” Davis said.
“Also so for other motorists, make sure that you pay attention, take another look. If you have passengers, especially out here in the rally. Just make sure you look before you merge,” Hunt said.
Law enforcement leaving an early safety reminder as the number of riders revs up in the Black Hills.