Drivers encouraged to watch for motorcycles this weekend as Sturgis Motorcycle Rally begins

STURGIS, S.D. - If you're heading south this weekend, you can expect the highways to be busier. The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota is shifting into high gear August 5 for the start.

With all the extra traffic, it's important to take some safety precautions.

The streets of Sturgis will be packed with motorcycle fans from all over the world. One biker who has visited Sturgis a number of times knows how crazy the road can get on the way there.

"They get very busy starting late this afternoon. People will be heading from the east and the west heading down there. Every direction they're going to head down on the roads. It's going to get very packed and busy," says Lonnie Bertsch, Abate of ND.

With the increase in traffic this weekend, the North Dakota Highway Patrol is recommending that you take extra safety precautions while on the road.

"You know be on the lookout for other traffic. If you're in a bigger vehicle or passenger car be on the look out for those motorcycles. Sometimes they can be in your blinds pot a little bit, and when you're changing lanes take an extra glance back behind you," says Lt. Tom Iverson, NDHP.

Bertsch says bikers should also be extra alert.

"Motorcycles need to consider that cars don't always see us. The drivers look at us but they sometimes see right through us. So we always have to prepared. We have to drive like people are not really seeing us," says Bertsch.

So far this year there's been eight motorcycle fatalities, and Iverson says they hope there aren't anymore.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally runs through August 14.