ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — State officials say Minnesota has passed a deadly milestone for motorcyclist fatalities for 2012.

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, May and July have proved the deadliest months of the year. Overall, 26 motorcyclists have died on Minnesota roads this year, three more than last year. Officials said May and July are tied at seven deaths apiece.

There have been 191 deaths in traffic accidents so far this year, 14 percent of which are motorcycle riders. DPS officials said they are projecting 46 motorcycle fatalities this year based on their current numbers. There were 42 rider deaths last year and 45 in 2010.

There are many contributing factors according to officials with the Department of Public Safety, including a record-high number of motorcyclists this year and early summer-like weather.  But also officials cite driver errors such as failure to yield right-of-way, inattention and motorcyclist error.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Steve Murphy Reports

Bill Shaffer, with the DPS’ Motorcycle Safety Center encourages motorists to share the roads, drive at safe speeds and look twice for motorcyclists.

“Riders should wear full protective gear since at this rate, the number of fatalities by year’s end could top 42, a new record,” Shaffer said.


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