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Motorcycle Crashes

With Spring weather, motorcyclists will once again be on the roads. NH has one of the highest rates of motorcycle ownership in the country. That’s not surprising considering our beautiful landscape and the many great places to take a ride.

 A client of mine said that riding his motorcycle was “wind therapy” and he is so right. After he was struck by a driver who wasn’t paying attention, one of the most difficult things was his inability to ride. Taking that away from him was truly emotionally and mentally distressing. It affected his whole life.

Before settling his case, we advocated and insisted the insurance company compensate him for that loss. To him, it was a very big deal. That was taken away from him, against his will, like a theft. No way we were going to minimize or ignore it.

Drivers do not pay enough attention to motorcyclists, that’s a sad fact. Over the years I’ve represented numerous motorcyclists who were injured by the carelessness of other drivers. I’ve also helped families deal with the tragic loss of loved ones on motorcycles.

In 2019, the NH Office of Highway Safety reported 30 motorcycle fatalities.

In one case in particular, the police officer investigating the fatality was too quick to blame the motorcyclist because he was driving just a little too fast. After hiring an expert accident reconstructionist, we were able to prove that the real cause of the crash was the driver of the car making an improper left-hand turn into the motorcyclist. Oftentimes, people are too quick to blame the motorcyclist. There is still a lot of prejudice against motorcyclists.

So, to our friends who drive on our roadways, please be careful to watch out for bike riders who share the road with us.

And to motorcyclists, please drive defensively and as safely as possible. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in the event of a motor vehicle crash than those in a passenger car so it is vital to do everything you can to protect yourself. 

Be sure you are fully educated and licensed. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) 29% of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes in the U.S. were riding without valid motorcycle licenses. To obtain your Motorcycle License in New Hampshire you must pass a vision test and pass a motorcycle Basic Rider Class or take a DMV motorcycle skills test. A good understanding of traffic laws and experience riding are essential in avoiding motorcycle crashes that can result in personal injury.

Wear protective gear. NHTSA recommends that you: “Always wear a helmet meeting the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. Look for the DOT symbol on the outside back of the helmet. Snell and ANSI labels located inside the helmet also show that the helmet meets the standards of those private, non-profit organizations.” Find more helmet selecting tips from NHTSA here. 

Although wearing a helmet is not required by N.H. law for adult operators, may we suggest it is a good, safe practice to do so, although we totally respect your freedom of choice. 

It is also important to cover your arms and legs fully, ideally with heavy duty fabrics such as leather or denim, and to wear bright colors or reflectors.

Be seen. Be safe. 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle crash crash please call Donahue Law at (603) 357-2363 or message Charlie at the bottom of this page so we can fight for you. It’s your story and your settlement. 

It costs nothing to talk with Donahue Law, and we don’t get paid until you win.

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