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Nearly 80 motorcyclists killed each year in Wisconsin crashes

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 6:03 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - On average, more than 2,000 motorcycle crashes occur each year in Wisconsin. And the Wisconsin Department of Transportation records show nearly 80 people will be killed each year as result.

It’s the reason they encourage drivers to look twice while driving. Last summer, the DOT’s message boards circulated the message “A second look can save a life!” They say it’s hard to judge the speed of oncoming motorcycles due to their smaller profile.

With the snow gone, drivers will be seeing more on the road.

Allan Zahrt is the co-owner of Pro-Motorsports in Wausau. He said most drivers just need to be aware that motorcyclists are on the road.

He said vehicle operators must also recognize the size difference.

“As far as the cars, it’s being aware of something much smaller than they are,” Zahrt said. “Motorcycles have their lights on at all times to help see them when you’re not looking. And just check your blind spots and be aware.”

As for motorcyclists, they should practice the safety measures they were taught.

“We’ve had a long winter layoff,” Zahrt explained, “So, now we have to reacquaint ourselves with our motorcycles, and the procedures of running and driving and being amongst all the other traffic.”

Zahrt encourages everyone interested in riding a motorcycle to take a riding course, similar to the Basic Rider Course at Northcentral Technical College.

Lead RiderCoach Ken Heis says the course is designed for beginners.

“We offer the Basic Rider Course, which is for beginners,” Heis explained. “People who have new been behind the controls of a motorcycle, that are curious, that want to get their license… we take them on a step-by-step process. Here in the state of Wisconsin, we use the E3 which is 3-hour course online, followed by 10 hours on the range, and approximately 5-6 hours in the classroom.”

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