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Back to School: Safe Bicycle Riding Tips for New Hampshire Students

September is almost here, and that means you and other New Hampshire students will be headed back to school.  Most schoolchildren take the school bus or are brought to school in their parent’s cars.  While this is convenient, there are other healthier and environmentally friendlier ways of going to school, either by walking or biking.  Back To School Sign

Biking is a fun and healthy transportation method, and is also faster than walking.  Books can be place on an attached bike’s basket so you spare yourself the burden of having to carry them on your shoulder, arms, or back. And you feel a sense of independence in being able to budget your time and getting to and from school without having to ask your parents to drive you. Biking is more flexible than driving a car as you can easily cut across parks or greenbelts without having to wait for streetlights or people to cross on pedestrian lanes.

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Drunk Driving in NH – Over the Limit. Under Arrest.  Don’t Drink and Drive.

The television commercials, newspaper articles, radio spots and even highway signs are everywhere reminding motorists not to drink and drive. Over the limit. Under arrest.  It’s pretty clear. There are other slogans as well: How about, Drink. Drive. Go to Jail.  These slogans make a good point-drinking and driving will not be tolerated in NH and will get you arrested.overthelimitdownload (1)

Frankly, I give the same advice to everyone I know; don’t drink and drive. You are putting yourself and others at risk if you are driving impaired. But as a NH DWI defense attorney, it’s important to me that arrests stem from probable cause and convictions are based upon proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  Quippy slogans aside, the State must prove its allegations of impairment before a conviction can result. And in NH, despite the slogan-Over the limit, Under arrest, you are usually arrested BEFORE the police determine if you are over the legal limit. Let me try to explain…

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New Hampshire Motorcycle Safety Laws

Driving a motorcycle on the open road can be an exhilarating experience.  But despite the freedom that accompanies motorcycling, riding a motorcycle also subjects the driver and passenger to numerous safety risks.  For one, a motorcycle is an open vehicle which can allow the rider(s) to be struck  directly on his or her body or be thrown off from impact due to a motor vehicle collision.  Also, motorcycle drivers are less protected  against the forces of nature like wind and rain, and this can affect their vision and judgment during driving.  motorcycleshutterstock_210306886

In line with addressing the safety risks of motorcycles and mopeds, each state has its own laws about licensing motorcycles and their drivers.  There are slight variations but the fact remains that the laws aim to protect motorcyclists, maximize their safety while on the road, and help prevent motorcycle accidents especially with other vehicles.

The following pertain to safety rules for drivers of motorcycles and mopeds under New Hampshire’s jurisdiction.

Driver Age and Licensing.  Motorcycle drivers aged 12 and up must have a driver’s/operator’s license and rider education certificate.  Those under age 14 must be accompanied by a licensed motorcyclist who is at least 18 years of age.
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In the Penacook language, Nashua means “beautiful stream with a pebbly bottom”, a very apt name for the only city to get voted twice for Best Place to Live in America.

Nashua, New Hampshire represents an excellent quality of life because of its quiet, quaint rural atmosphere and proximity to the seacoast, the mountains, and the bustling city of Boston. Being Frisked on Car

DUI and Motor Vehicle Accidents  and Fatalities

However, the Gate City has its share of severe  car and motorcycle accidents due to DUI or impaired drivers. Drunk driving collisions occur with more frequency on weekends and holidays. More than one hundred people in the state of New Hampshire are killed by motor vehicle accidents that are otherwise preventable.  DUI cases in Nashua, as of 2013 comprise about 20% of all crimes against society, second only to drug-related offenses.

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Having been voted twice as Best Place to Live in America, Nashua, New Hampshire is a laid-back bedroom community in the southern part of the state.  It has an approximate population of 90,000 and is one of the largest cities in New Hampshire.

But while this place may seem idyllic especially for young families and retirees, Nashua has had its own share of tragic vehicular and motorcycle accidents stemming from reckless driving or DUI.  Like any other city in the United States, Nashua is also not exempt from cases of personal injury arising from work-related accidents, motorcycle collisions, and car accidents, among other injuries. Tenn_CHAD_tee1

Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim

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Mary Elizabeth Tenn, a Manchester trial lawyer, takes office as president of the New Hampshire Bar Association on June 19, 2015 at the Bar Association’s Annual Meeting. As president of the Association, which represents all lawyers licensed to practice law in the state, Tenn said she intends to focus the culture of professionalism and civility that characterizes the practice of law in the state.

Mary Tenn takes office as President of the NH Bar Assoc.

Mary Tenn takes office as President of the NH Bar Assoc.

Tenn, a New Hampshire native, practices with the law firm of Tenn And Tenn, PA along with her three siblings James J. Tenn, Jr., John J. Tenn and Annmarie A. Tenn. Notably, Tenn is the second person in her family and in her firm to serve as president of the NH Bar Association, and follows her brother James J. Tenn, Jr. a past president of the New Hampshire Bar Association in 2009-2010. This year, Tenn And Tenn, PA, marks its 20th year of existence.

Tenn received her J.D. degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where she served as an editor of the Harvard Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law Review. She received a B.A., summa cum laude, from Boston College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and awarded membership in the National Jesuit Honor Society—The Order of the Cross and Crown.

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Laconia Motorcycle Week moves another year closer to the century mark with its 92nd annual celebration. Bikers who ride safe will hopefully return to bike week for many years to come. Laconia Bike Week
More than 400,000 riders will descend on this central New Hampshire town and lakes region beginning June 13 for the weeklong, world class rally. With a full slate of events, celebrations and parties, motorcyclists can easily get lost in the excitement and forget essential safety rules to avoid a motorcycle accident and or DUI arrests. A little bit of caution will keep you on your bike enjoying your ride.

Do some planning before heading out to parties and gatherings. Keep these tips in mind:

  • If you plan to drink, park your bike. Arrange transportation with a friend or plan to stay overnight at the party site. These plans are easier to make before you take that first drink.
  • Eat before you drink. Alcohol on an empty stomach is absorbed much faster, and you will get intoxicated much more quickly.
  • Limit what you drink and stop a few hours before you leave. You know your limits, so keep track of what you’re drinking and stop when you need to.
  • Focus more on the company than on drinking. You may only see these friends once a year at the rally, make the most of it.

Drinking alcohol isn’t limited to nighttime gatherings and parties. Bike Week festivities feature many beer tents among the food stalls, motorcycle displays and merchandise tents. You can easily lose track of just how many stops at the beer tent you have made. Make a mental note of how much you drink throughout the day, and stop a few hours before it’s time to pack up and head back to the hotel or camp site. Stop and listen to some music at the Big Entertainment Tent outside Laconia Roadhouse or pick up some free coffee at the White Church.

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Memorial Day Travel Tips for New Hampshire – Avoid Auto Accidents

Memorial Day is the day which we remember all the men and woman who died serving our great country, and for that we are grateful. This day also signifies the unofficial  start of summer, celebrations that last late into the night, and vacations. It also begins the “100 Deadliest Days” of the year according to the NHTSA. More than 33 million Americans are expected to hit the road during Memorial Day weekend with plans to travel at least 50 miles from home by car. As a result, it is definitely time to review auto accident and travel safety tips to improve your chances of having a happy and safe holiday weekend. Memorial Day

Buckle up!

Before you start driving, make certain you, as well as every one of your passengers, is wearing a seatbelt. Regardless of what you have heard, wearing a seatbelt saves lives and on average protects  more than 11,000 people involved in a car accident each year.

Properly secure any children in the car.

Make sure children are properly restrained. New Hampshire has laws in place regarding what type of child safety seat a child under the age of 6 or under 55 inches in height should be riding in. And, all children under 12 years old should ride in the back seat.

Put down your cell phone.

Although a ban on handheld cell phone use for drivers in New Hampshire goes into effect of July 1, 2015, it will still be legal to hold your phone and drive over Memorial Day weekend. However, it is certainly not advised. Even the simple act of talking on a handheld phone while driving distracts you, with texting only making the situation worse. In 2014, 26 percent of car accidents in the United States were linked to the use of mobile devices.

If you are going to drink, don’t drive.

Currently, someone dies as the result of an alcohol impaired accident every 51 minutes in the United States. Unfortunately, deaths related to drunk driving are notorious for spiking over the holiday weekends. Appoint a designated driver before you head out to a party or your local fireworks. If you’re designated driver does end up drinking, do yourself and everyone else on the road a favor and find another way home.

Have your tires checked.

While this is of particular importance if you are planning to travel a good distance over the Memorial Day weekend, it is something that everyone needs to have done on a regular basis. Have an expert assess your tire’s tread wear and air pressure, as well as make certain you have a functional spare for emergencies. Studies by the NHTSA show that tires that are under inflated or have a low tread depth make it more difficult to control a car and can lead to a blowout.

Be aware of special events, such as parades and fireworks.

Memorial Day is marked by a number of celebrations, including fireworks and parades that draw huge crowds. If you are not attending one of these events, it is advised that you stay out of the area because it will become heavily congested. If you will be attending, it is important to pay close attention to everything that is going on around your car to decrease your chances of hitting another car or even a person.

Unfortunately, even the safest drivers can be in an accident, often through no fault of their own. If you find yourself involved in a car accident in NH,  that was not your fault, you need an experienced car accident lawyer in New Hampshire. We have the knowledge and expertise needed to assist you,to ensure that your rights are protected, and make certain your best needs are met. There is only a limited amount of time to file a claim, so you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

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Well it’s that time of year in New Hampshire where motorcycle enthusiasts take to the roads. New Hampshire is one of the most motorcycle friendly states around. With events like Laconia’s Motorcycle Week occurring every year, it could hardly be anything else. But what are New Hampshire’s laws concerning motorcycles? What do you need to know to travel safely? Well, here is a quick overview of the legal ins and outs of riding your bike in New Hampshire, split into sections for on-road riding and off-road riding:motorcycleshutterstock_22235944

On-Road:

  • New Hampshire does accept motorcycle endorsements from other states, so there are no hoops to jump through to ride. However, the state does not accept RiderEd completion cards from other states, so keep that in mind. Rider education is available for any qualified applicant, but it can be waived with a skills test.
  • Headlights are required, and modulating headlights are permitted.
  • Unless your bike has a windscreen, eye protection of some sort is required.
  • Handlebars cannot be higher than the height of the driver when seated on the motorcycle.
  • There are no specific restrictions on helmet speakers, however be sure to exercise good judgment and caution concerning them.
  • The absolute maximum sound level for your bike is 106dBA (note: measured twenty inches from the exhaust pipe at an angle of forty-five degrees). Mufflers are required, and cut-outs are not permitted.
  • Motorcycles are permitted to ride alongside each other in a single lane, so that is good news if you’re traveling with a friend.
  • There is not a restriction on the age of your passenger, but passenger footrests and passenger seats are requisite.
  • Mopeds are not covered under state Lemon Law protections. However, all other bikes are.
  • Intermittent safety inspections are required as well.

Off-Road:

Joke: What do you call a cyclist who doesn’t wear a helmet? An organ donor. Wear a Helmet!

  • Safety helmets and eye protection are only required by law if you are under 18. But please exercise caution and utilize them anyway.
  • Spark arrestors are required.
  • Headlights and taillights are not optional after sunset.

The above regulations should help you avoid unnecessary fees and legal troubles while riding in New Hampshire. Read on for some general motorcycle tips.

 

General Motorcycle Safety Tips:

To avoid a motorcycle accident, make yourself visible to other drivers. There is a good chance that they might not notice you otherwise. Wear noticeable clothing, preferably of the reflective kind.

Ensure that you are comfortable in your motorcycle. Is your seat too high? Too low? On longer trips your seat and riding posture may be uncomfortable and give you severe back pain. Or maybe your handlebars are too far forward, and you have to lean excessively. Whatever the case, find what’s causing you discomfort on your bike and get it fixed. When you are riding, comfort could make a world of difference in the things you notice. Rather than thinking about that pain in your shoulder, you could be noticing the driver driving erratically behind you.

Drunk driving is never an option. Studies have shown repeatedly that motorcycle drivers who drive while intoxicated are far more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than are drunk automobile drivers, simply because a motorcycle affords less protection to the rider than a car. If you are going to be drinking, know your limits. Even if you think you are fine, park your bike and ride back with a friend.

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, accidents do happen. And when they do, you need the best representation you can find. Invest in a top notch motorcycle accident lawyer. Knowing that you have a skilled professional on your side can lift a world of worry from your shoulders, and allow you to focus fully on recovery.

 

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Types of Car Accidents and Injuries in New Hampshire

Every car accident that occurs and results in injuries can be as unique as the people involved. It is also important to note that car accidents that lead to personal injury suits can entail many different situations and scenarios, including many types of vehicles. A car accident leading to a personal injury case doesn’t just have to be one car versus another. Any vehicle using a public roadway can become embroiled in a personal injury situation. accidentshutterstock_107802959

Common Types of Auto Accidents

The most common types of accidents in New Hampshire that involve vehicles other than cars are motorcycle accidents and car accidents. A motorcycle versus car accident can be much more devastating compared to other accidents due to the nature of the motorcycle. Even with a helmet, a motorcyclist is exposed and vulnerable. Plus, on certain roadways and under certain weather conditions, motorcycles are difficult to see. Also, road issues like potholes and debris can lead to a motorcycle accident regardless of the actions of a car driver.

Another common scenario involves car versus pedestrian accidents. In New Hampshire and elsewhere, pedestrians have the right away and also have plenty places to safely cross busy roads. But, many pedestrians are still hit by cars each year. Weather conditions, visibility, speed, and driver inattention can lead to scenarios where pedestrians are severely injured or worse. Regardless of the situation, when a pedestrian is hit by a moving car, the injuries can be severe and life-altering.

Bicycle Accidents

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