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Fuel costs linked to more motorcycle accidents

The high price of fuel could be leading to more motorcycle fatalities and wrecks in the area this year, according to the Grass Valley office of the California Highway Patrol.

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

Fifty one crashes have been logged this year, compared to 46 all of last year in the area the office covers.



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, partly because of higher gas prices that prompt more people onto two-wheelers. “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 its 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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