There are few events as exciting as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. Motorcyclists from all over the country converge for one fun filled week full of motorcycle events, music, and great food. Motorcyclists who choose to attend this year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will witness a historic event, when the legendary Bob Dylan takes the stage at the Buffalo Chip Campground. Yet, despite all of the festivities, there is a dark side to the annual rally. If you are heading down to Sturgis for the 2010 rally, it is important to understand all of the dangers you may be facing.
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and the Law
Every year, hundreds of motorcyclists who attend the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, get in trouble with the law. In fact, in 2008 alone, over 400 motorcyclists were jailed during the festivities. In addition, there were almost a hundred drug arrests, 150 traffic violations and almost 400 hospital emergency room visits. Motorcyclists, alcohol, and the heat seem to make a dangerous combination, and often lead to assaults, daredevil stunts, and poor decisions. If you are planning to attend the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in 2010, make sure you understand all of the laws in Sturgis, South Dakota, that may affect you.
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and the Traffic
According to some reports, during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally there are 20 motorcycles for every car on the road. This traffic can make some of the worst traffic jams imaginable and can lead to serious and often deadly accidents. On many roads, traffic creeps along at only 20 mph while you attempt to navigate through thousands of motorists who are already growing rather impatient. In addition, truckers and other vehicles who share South Dakota roads are not always pleased by the massive amounts of motorcyclists who invade their state. As a result, aggressive and angry drivers can put motorcyclists in significant danger.
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Inexperienced Motorcyclists
Unfortunately, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is not always the best place for new and inexperienced motorcyclists. Large group rides and congested traffic make it difficult to maneuver, and new motorcyclists are often hurt in the process. If you are a new or inexperienced motorcyclist, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally may not be the best place to test out your new set of wheels!
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Motorcycle Deaths
It is unfortunate that even at a fun and festive rally, motorcycle deaths still occur, and last year’s rally was no exception. Just a week before the rally began, motorcycle dealership entrepreneur, Bruce Rossmeyer, died on his way to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. As Rossmeyer attempted to pass a large truck, the truck swung left, knocking into Rossmeyer and killing him.
Unfortunately, that was not the only fatal motorcycle accident to occur just before the rally began. A 36 year old Iowa man was killed on Interstate 90 on his way to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Reports of the accident indicated that the motorcyclist rear-ended a camper and was thrown from his bicycle. Had the motorcyclist been wearing a helmet, he may have been spared, but instead, he sustained fatal head injuries in the tragic accident.
While the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally can be a wonderful and unique experience, it is important to understand some of the dangers associated with large group rallies. If you are heading down to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, have fun—but be careful.
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