Tuesday night La Crosse street crash a reminder to watch out for motorcycles

La Crosse police caution drivers to limit distractions and share the road with motorcyclists
Motorcycle Safety

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Distracted driving can cost someone their life. As temperatures rise and motorcyclists and bicyclists hit the road, La Crosse police warn drivers about their surroundings.

“We as an entire community have a responsibility to be safe on the roadway,” La Crosse Police Sgt. Cory Brandl said.

Road awareness is a responsibility Brandl said drivers should prioritize before they start their engines.

“Especially as the weather gets nicer outside there’s a lot more people on bikes and pedestrians out in the roadways,” Brandl said.

Tuesday night, a driver who failed to yield along La Crosse Street struck a motorcyclist at an intersection near UW-La Crosse.

“Specifically, like intersections, we want to pay attention to,” Brandl said.

Paramedics took this person to a hospital. There is no word on the motorcyclist’s condition. But crashes like this provide a teaching opportunity.

“There’s a lot of information, a lot of things going on inside a vehicle,” Brandl said.

Cars are computers on wheels with dashboards designed like tablets. These features pull people’s eyes off the road. That’s not even including smartphones.

“Wait until you get to your destination,” Brandl said of replying to text messages.

Motorcyclists are not immune from risky behavior and Brandl said traffic laws apply to them, too.

“When you’re going at a high rate of speed weaving in and out of traffic, other vehicles can’t see you,” he said.

Failure to listen to Brandl’s advice can cost drivers a fine or the life of somebody else. Recent data shows motorcycle crashes claimed the lives of 82 people in 2019. Crashes injured 1,537 people the same year.

“It can be concerning and worrisome when we’re responding to those calls,” Brandl said.

Motorcyclists naturally are more vulnerable on the road.

“It’s a lot more likely that the injuries are gonna be more severe,” he said.

Every driver plays a role in placing other people’s lives before a reply to a text or a timeline to reach a destination

“Minimize the distractions that you may have.

“We just want to be patient out on the roadway,” Brandl said.

Experts also recommend drivers plan out their morning commute and plan for more drive time now that road construction season is also here.