Iowa DOT: Motorcycle deaths spike in August - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa DOT: Motorcycle deaths spike in August

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, the end of summer is a peak period for motorcycle fatalities.

Tim Cummings has had a few close class on his motorcycle -- like just a few weeks ago, when a car cut him off.

"I had to swerve, and slow down really quick,” Cummings said. “It did put me at an unsteady angle."

But he said it’s all worth it to experience the open air and open road on his bike.

“It’s more of a personal freedom,” he said. “It’s therapy. For me, it’s therapy.”

But the end of summer is a risky time for his brand of therapy.

Preliminary DOT data shows that nine motorcyclists were killed in August this year. In 2012, 11 died, and in 2011, 10 deaths were recorded.

Every year, August deaths nearly double those recorded in July.

Robert and Miriam Garbes have put 42,000 miles on their white Honda in the past few years. They also recently rode it all the way to the Grand Canyon.

They said that, for them safety, is key -- especially towards the end of the season.

“You need to wear your helmets,” Miriam said. “You always need to be looking out for others around you.”

But even they can recount some close calls.

Cummings said that after 10 years of riding, the August spike in deaths doesn’t surprise him. His message is clear: Be careful squeezing in your last ride of the summer, so it doesn’t become your last ride ever.

“Summer is winding down," he said. "People are trying to get as much riding in as they can."

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