More motorcyclists have died on Minnesota roads this summer than last, which was the worst in 24 years, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety reported Friday.
So far this year, 27 people have died on motorcycles on Minnesota roads and highways, compared to 25 last year. The agency noted that August and September are traditionally the months with the most motorcycle crashes.
There were 72 motorcyclist fatalities in 2008, the most since 1985. Motorcycles make up fewer than 5 percent of all registered vehicles, but represented nearly 16 percent of the 455 motor vehicle fatalities last year. There are nearly 225,000 registered motorcycles in Minnesota, a record high.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reports the most common factors attributed to motorcycle riders in crashes are speed, inexperience, inattention and impairment -- all within the rider's control. Last year, 47 percent of riders killed had been using alcohol -- 42 percent were over the legal limit of .08.