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Motorcycle Deaths Doubled in 2014

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MEDFORD, Ore. —  Statistics released this month show 19 lives have already been lost from motorcycle accidents, compared to just 9 at this point last year and a 12 in 2012.

Rodney Maples stopped off in Medford while on his ride from Eurkea and has plans for nearly a week long ride.

“Tomorrow we’re going up to Crater Lake, spending a night at the lodge, riding around the lake then we’re going to come back to Medford on Wednesday night,” said Maples.

Maples is not a new rider, and has had close calls in the past, as well as Monday.

“He came around me and then cut between us right at the off ramp,” said Maples

Maples said he’s a defensive rider and anticipates things before they happen. It’s that knowledge and skill, instructors said, may have been lacking in the 19 fatalities already this year.

“Speed was a factor and they were riding faster than safe for the conditions. Not necessarily exceeding the speed limit, but faster than was safe for whatever the conditions were,” said Team Oregon Instructor, Mike Goldsberry.

Mike Goldsberry has been an instructor for Team Oregon for years and says some of the most important skills taught are swerving, braking, and scanning ahead for hazards. Drivers must also be aware of motorcyclists, but statistics show, it is usually the rider at fault.

“75% of the fatalities, motorcyclist fatalities are the motorcyclist’s fault,” said Goldsberry.

Maples knows concentration is the key to a safe ride, be it around town or on vacation.

“It’s all part of riding. You’ve just got to be a real defensive rider. You’ve got to be looking out for those cars and trucks and big rigs, because they can’t see you all the time,” said Maples.