MN Reaches 25 Motorcycle Deaths

Motorcycle Rider Deaths Significantly Higher in MN This Year

Motorcycle rider deaths are significantly higher compared to this time last year.

Twenty-five riders have died on Minnesota roads so far in 2015, which is 56% more than this time last year when there were 16 motorcycle fatalities.

The latest motorcycle death happened Thursday, June 18, around 9:30 p.m. during a pursuit on County Road 75 near County Road 7 in Stearns County.

The driver was thrown from the motorcycle and pronounced dead at the scene.

The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating.

So far this year, there have been 158 traffic fatalities in Minnesota; nearly 16 percent of those are motorcycle riders.

In 2014, 46 motorcyclists were killed in crashes, according to preliminary reports.

Public safety officials are asking motorcyclists to take safety into their own hands and motorists to look twice for motorcycles.

“Motorcyclists and motorists need to work together to share the road to prevent more motorcycle fatalities,” says Lt. Bob Zak, Minnesota State Patrol. “It’s really unfortunate that there are nine more motorcycle deaths than this time last year, and we need the public’s help to keep this number from increasing.”

2015 Fatal Motorcycle Crash Facts (these do not include the latest crash)

Age: Eleven of the riders killed this season were older than 50. Nine riders were between the ages of 30-49. Four riders were in their 20s. It’s important for new riders, riders returning from a break and experienced riders to take a training course and sharpen and hone skills.

Passengers: Three passengers were killed in the 22 crashes.

Helmet Use: Helmet use is known for 22 of the 25 riders killed. Of those 22 riders, 14 were not wearing a helmet and seven were wearing a helmet.

Location: Seventeen of the crashes happened in rural areas. Four of the crashes occurred in urban areas. Location was not reported for one of the crashes.

Contributing Factors: Contributing factors point to rider error in many of the crashes. Riders were negotiating a curve when 11 of those crashes happened. A second vehicle failing to yield was cited in three of the crashes.

Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center (MMSC) Program Coordinator Bill Shaffer encourages riders to get trained.

“Training can save a rider’s life,” says Shaffer. “It teaches riders crash-avoidance techniques to stay safe on the road. Any experience level is welcome. You can never get too much training as a new rider, returning rider or experienced rider.”

For more information about affordable training courses provided by MMSC, visit

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