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Share the Road: Tips to Avoid Motorcycle Crashes

It’s Bike Week in Laconia, which means summer is here in New Hampshire and more drivers and motorcyclists are sharing our roads.

During this time of year, it’s important for riders and local residents to remember the rules of the road, and to make safety a priority at all times. Motorcyclists face many challenges when riding, which is why it is so crucial that drivers of passenger cars and other vehicles make the effort to stay aware of their surroundings and drive safely. Additionally, motorcycle riders have the obligation to ride according to the law, and to always stay vigilant.

Unfortunately, thousands of motorcycle riders are injured each year in traffic crashes, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), close to 5,000 riders are injured each year. Many of these accidents could have been prevented.

To help you stay safe when sharing the road, our New Hampshire personal injury lawyers at Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. have compiled a list of some important safety tips for motorists and motorcyclists. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle wreck, our team is readily available to review your case for free!

Tips for Motorists

  • Don’t drive distracted! Avoid using your phone, texting, and other dangerous distractions that could cause you to overlook a motorcyclist.
  • Motorcycles can be easily overseen, so be vigilant! Use your rear-view and side-view mirrors properly and be aware of blind spots before making any driving moves. Always use signals to alert riders and motorists of your intent to turn or change lanes.
  • Share the road, but not the lane – motorcyclists need room to maneuver safely. Allow a motorcyclist a full lane’s width and provide ample room when passing riders.
  • Allow for more distance – roughly three to four seconds – when following a motorcyclist. This will provide enough time for riders to safely stop or maneuver if needed.

Tips for Motorcyclists

  • Ride sober and distraction-free! Statistics show impairment on alcohol or drugs plays a factor in a significant percentage of motorcycle accidents, especially during rallies and motorcycle weeks, where celebration is part of the fun. Drink responsibly or plan a ride.
  • Wear protective gear! Wearing a helmet and wearing gear that increases your visibility can make all the difference. The NHTSA estimates that helmets continually save the lives of thousands of riders each year.
  • Obey the rules of the road. Always follow traffic laws to ensure you and others around you are safe. Ride in the middle of lanes, travel at safe speeds, and be sure to use hand and turn signals before making any turns or lane changes.