The Minnesota Department of public safety said 70 motorcycle riders died on state roads last year, the most since 1985.
Authorities attribute the increase to more motorcycles on the road. The number of motorcycle owners in the state doubling in the last 10 years to 197,735 in 2006, the state said.
So far this year, 24 motorcyclists have died on Minnesota roads, compared with 21 by this time in 2006.
The most common factors in motorcycle deaths are excessive speed, inexperience, impairment and inattention, according to the state’s Office of Traffic Safety.
While motorcycle deaths were very high in 2006, the state recorded 494 traffic fatalities overall last year, its lowest number of deaths on state roads since 1945, when 449 people died.
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