Fuel costs could be putting more motorcycles on the road | TheUnion.com

Fuel costs could be putting more motorcycles on the road

The high price of fuel could be prompting more people to ride motorcycles – leading to more motorcycle wrecks and deaths in the area this year, according to the Grass Valley office of the California Highway Patrol.

Three deaths already have occurred this year on Nevada and Sierra County roads compared to one in 2007, said CHP Officer Dina Hernandez.

Those are among 51 crashes logged this year, compared to 46 all of last year in the area the office covers, Hernandez said.

The accidents are part of an ongoing trend. As The Union reported in May, the number of motorcyclists killed in collisions statewide has increased 140 percent during the past 10 years, according to the CHP.

“There’s a lot more motorcycles out there,” Hernandez said. She blamed high gasoline prices. “Everybody’s trying to save money wherever they can,” she said.

Both motorcyclists and larger vehicle drivers are responsible for the increase in accidents, Hernandez said. “People need to realize these mountainous roadways have no mercy, people just need to slow down,” she said.

Motorcyclists are hard to see, “especially from large vehicles with blind spots,” Hernandez said. “Be aware when you make a lane change and look over your shoulder, not just in the mirror.

“Motorcyclists don’t realize their speed sometimes when they should, sometimes it’s a DUI (driving under the influence) and we have motorcycles that hit deer up here,” Hernandez said.

To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail dmoller@theunion.com or call 477-4237.

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