Rolling Thunder means look out for motorcycles
This Memorial Day weekend will bring the Rolling Thunder gathering of motorcyclists and others to Washington in their effort to push for an accounting of veterans missing in past wars. For Marylanders, that means there will be a surge in the number of motorcycle riders on the state's roads as they head for the capital -- and extra reason to keep an eye out for bikers.
The last Rolling Thunder run in 2008 brought 350,000 motorcycles to Washington. For the event, warning signs will be placed at intersections that have a track record of crashes involving bikers. Two of the intersections are Connecticut Avenue and R Street and New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, eight motorcyclists killed in the District of Columbia in 2008, six were Marylanders. He also pointed out that Memorial Day has in the past been a dangerous holiday for motorcycle riders in Maryland, accounting for five of Maryland's 85 motorcycle deaths that year.
Allstate Insurance Co., which has been working with the District Department of Transportation on safety preparations for the event, is urging drivers to take extra time to verify that no motorcycles are approaching before entering an intersection. That's always good advice, but seldom more timely than this weekend -- especially if you'll be traveling in the Washington area.