GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The holiday weekend is here, which means more people are on the roads. While there’s more activity, state police are reminding drivers to watch for motorcyclists.

“As we go into Memorial Day weekend, we are going to see a significant increase in traffic out on the roadways,” said police Lt. Michelle Robinson of Michigan State Police.

Included in that, Robinson said, are motorcycles.

In 2021, Michigan had 3,175 motorcycle-involved crashes, according to the state. 166 of those were deadly.

MSP reminded drivers to be alert, slow down and watch out for others on the road.

“Take your time where you’re going,” said Robinson. “If you are going to see family, if you’re going to certain parades, events. Take your time to get there, be conscious of everybody. Be polite for the others that are on the roadway.”

While driving in Grand Rapids Friday, a News 8 crew saw two crashes in the span of one hour, just a few blocks apart.

Medics and police on scene at a May 26 motorcycle crash.
Medics and police on scene at a May 26 motorcycle crash.

Motorcyclist Caitlin Foote-Plant had a message to share with drivers.

“Just pay attention as much as possible, because we’re looking out for you, and we want you to look out for us,” Foote-Plant said. “It takes a second for your life to change. It takes a second for someone to go down. … If you go down, you have 50-50 odds of surviving or not.”

Foote-Plant also had a message for fellow riders.

“And for the bikers, don’t screw around, don’t rip on it, don’t tear off like it’s a dragstrip,” she said. “I mean, there are other cars on the road, so we pay attention to them, cars pay attention to us — it’ll work out so much better.”

It’s also important to wear proper gear, like helmets, chaps, leather jackets and gloves.

“Oftentimes, we’ll see significant injuries in crashes because of the cyclist that was not wearing their helmet,” Robinson said.

“You dress for the ride, but you need to dress for the slide,” Foote-Plant said.