Risky routes in the Black Hills are leading to more motorcycle crashes

Risky routes in the Black Hills are leading to more motorcycle crashes
Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 7:50 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) -A 2015 Pennington County Sheriff’s Office survey used accumulated motorcycle crash data and Google Maps to find out which roads motorcycle crashes are most likely to occur on in the county.

Although there are many different reasons why crashes can occur, this year’s primary causes include road debris and failing to negotiate curves.

“It’s motorcycles that are going too fast for a curve that they are not familiar with, and then they take it and they go down because they can’t make the curve, or they glide and go over the line and collide with another bike.” One Biker stated.

A few locations the survey pointed out are the curves by Mount Rushmore and the intersection of Highway 385 and Highway 44, to name a few. A biker stated, “385 has the most traffic going north and going south up into the hills, and that’s more of a chance for an accident.” Another biker added, “Probably the road leading up to Mount Rushmore is one of the more dangerous places because there are so many people going up there. You have your inexperienced, you know, riders, so you just gotta be careful.”

Nemo Road and Pine Drive, Nemo Road, Norris Peak Road, Pine Cone Avenue, and Old Hill City Road are some of the additional areas covered by the survey.

“The worst one, no doubt, is Iron Mountain Road; it’s the most challenging, and you need to be an experienced driver to go up those. Needles Highway is the other one, and that’s probably a well known fact for people that have been up here a lot.” Additionally, it is important for riders to regularly check their bikes for mechanical issues and ensure that they are properly maintained. Furthermore, wearing the right gear, riding sober, riding within your limits, staying aware of weather conditions, and adjusting riding plans accordingly can also contribute to a safer riding experience.