Warm weather is a welcome change here in northwest Iowa, especially after the long cold winter. It doesn't take much to look around town and see all the preparations being made for spring. Snow blowers are being traded in for lawn mowers. Green grass is starting to grow again where huge piles of snow once stood.
Just as we make changes to prepare for spring at home, motorists need to 'retool' their approach to driving on the road. Put your winter driving skills on the back burner for the season, and start focusing on warm weather driving issues. One of these changes will be the addition of motorcycles to our roads.
Motorcycle fatality crashes in Iowa declined from 2007-2009, despite a rise in motorcycle registrations and licenses issued. High fuel prices could change this trend, with more people looking to find more fuel efficient transportation this summer. Those added number of motorcycles on our roads could then lead to a higher number of motorcycle-involved crashes.
The Iowa State Patrol is committed to doing its part to ensure the safety of all motorists. Here are several tips for motorists and motorcyclists alike as we approach the busy traffic season.
οWear a helmet along with bright colored clothing.
οDrive defensively. Expect other vehicles not to see you.
οDrive with headlamps on during the day. Modulating headlights increase your visibility.
οAvoid alcohol when driving. Physical impairment begins at just one drink.
οGive motorcycles the same respect as other vehicles when passing.
οLook twice before you pull out from a stop sign or turn left across traffic.
οDrive defensively. Actively look for motorcycles.
Prepare yourself now for the new challenges warm weather brings on our roads. The life you save may be your own, or that of a family member.