Several motorcyclists have died in Iowa in recent weeks. Scott Falb, Driver Safety Specialist with the Iowa Department of Transportation, keeps track of figures and statistics, and he says they point to some solutions. Falb says he’s aware of eleven motorcycle deaths so far this year, the latest being the three reported just last week. He points out 55-percent of them were single-vehicle crashes, so there’s a lot motorcyclists themselves can do to prevent such fatal wrecks.

Falb says he sees a common factor in a lot of the fatal wrecks involving two-wheelers. Speed is one of the biggest factors in single-vehicle crashes, but also crashes involving other vehicles, too. He says motorcyclists should slow down to the speed limit, and if they find themselves in “difficult” traffic situations and aren’t sure if another motorist, for example on a side road, sees them coming, then they should slow down even further.

He sees another detail in many of the reports about fatal wrecks involving motorcycle riders. Alcohol and drug involvement in motorcycle crashes is more than double its prevalence as a factor in four-wheeler crashes, so he says just staying clean and sober can improve your chances tremendously. He says while you’re less protected than the driver of a car or truck, motorcycle riders can add some protection.

The proper attire for motorcycling is wearing your helmet, Falb says, and wearing “very durable clothing.” That can include not only a jacket and boots, but gloves and other made-for-motorcycling clothing often made from leather that’ll protect skin in a crash.