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Drivers and motorcyclists should share the road for safety

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2024 | Auto Accidents |

Often, motorcycle accidents happen because of mistakes drivers have made when they are on the road with motorcyclists. Some of these errors are obvious and others are more understated. Regardless, it is essential for drivers to think about rider safety.

This past May, an entire month was dedicated to motorcycle safety with Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Part of that was spent detailing some behaviors that can place riders at risk. This coincides with New Hampshire having one of its worst years ever for motorcycle safety, making it even more important to think about strategies to avoid collisions.

Recognize common dangers for motorcyclists

As motorcycle safety comes to the forefront, the most recent comprehensive statistics for crashes and fatalities is useful to understand the scope of the problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that more than 6,200 riders lost their lives in a collision in 2022. This was a 1% increase from the previous year. When calculating the likelihood of a rider being killed, they had 22 times the chance of being killed and quadruple the chance of injury when compared to those in a passenger vehicle.

Among the catalysts of these accidents are speeding, alcohol use and riders not wearing a helmet. It stands to reason that the faster an object is moving, the harder it is to avoid it at a critical moment. Maintaining the speed limit and being vigilant can help with avoiding an accident.

Alcohol has long been a problem on the road. Even though law enforcement is attentive to when drivers might be under the influence and the times at which a drunk driver is more likely to be on the road, they cannot catch everyone. Alcohol impairs judgment, negatively impacts reflexes and leads to decisions people might not otherwise make.

To make sure safety is a priority, drivers and riders are advised to follow the law as they are using the road – that includes the speed limit, yielding, stopping for red lights and stop signs. Alcohol and drugs should be avoided. Distracted driving has become a major problem across the board and cellphones need to be put away or ignored when driving.

Given the number of fatal motorcycle crashes in New Hampshire, it is even more vital to think about proper safety practices. By mid-June, there had been nine rider fatalities in the state. This was more than there were at the same time in 2023. Overall last year, there were 41 rider fatalities. The current pace would surpass that.

The New Hampshire Motorcycle Rider Education Program and its coordinator gave similar tips as the ones that were discussed for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month while adding other pieces of advice such as using lanes properly, understanding one’s riding capabilities and watching for sudden movements by cars and trucks. Blind spots are referenced as inherently dangerous for riders.

Motorcycle accidents can have long-term consequences

Even though safety initiatives and tracking accidents can be essential to educating drivers on how to share the road with motorcyclists, motorcycle accidents are still bound to happen. Riders, if they are fortunate enough to survive, can face a litany of injuries including brain trauma, spinal cord damage, broken bones, lost limbs, road rash and more. Families left behind after a fatal motorcycle accident will wonder what the future holds.

There are ways people can address their issues and hold drivers who caused the motorcycle accident accountable. This can cover for lost income, medical costs, rehabilitation, extended care and more. Those who lost a loved one can be helped for their personal, financial and emotional loss. These cases can be complicated, so it is vital to know how to pursue a claim and have help in doing so.