Look out for bikers during road trip season

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Whether you drive a car, truck, or motorcycle, be sure to keep an eye out when you hit the road this summer.

Last year, 12 people died from motorcycle accidents in North Dakota.

ABATE of North Dakota, which stands for American Bikers Aiming Toward Education, is working to decrease that number.

You're driving down the road, listening to music, enjoying the ride. You go to change lanes. A minor decision can make a major difference.

"Always check your blind spots before changing a lane. Always look both directions," said Lonnie Bertsch, ABATE of ND executive director.

A biker may be passing you by, and despite the engine reeving.

They're not always easy to spot.

"People normally don't see us. We're a small object out on the highway, and it's hard to pick up a small object," said Lonnie Bertsch, ABATE of ND Executive Director

Checking your surrounding may mean the difference between a smooth drive or an accident.

And, when you're trying to pass a biker.

"Don't cut in so quick. Because the draft coming off of your car or a rock or something you may kick up with your car as you're passing may affect that driver," said Bertsch.

Bertsch says motorcyclists need to be cautious, too.

He says when bikers are on the interstate, watch out for large trucks and animals.

Slow down in suburban neighborhoods, where drivers in cars aren't looking out for motorcyclists.

"Drive the speed limit or less. And be wary of any intersection you come through," said Bertsch.

May is motorcycle safety month.

ABATE of North Dakota will begin teaching their safety courses the first weekend of May.