A wrongful death claim has been filed by the family of a motorcyclist who was struck and killed by a falling tree. Edgar Riecke, a motorcycle enthusiast hailing from Durango, Colorado was on a ride through Utah in October of 2014. Riecke was rounding a corner when he was struck and killed by a tree falling directly on top of him. The tree, however, was not simply falling on its own, in fact the tree was being cut down by a pair of two Boy Scouts out collecting firewood for their local troop. The tree fell on top of Riecke, ending his life. Riecke is survived by his son and daughters, who have begun a lawsuit for unspecified damages.
Motorcycle accidents are one of the most catastrophic experiences a person can undergo. Riding a motorcycle can feel incredibly liberating and freeing. Seasoned riders love the thrill and relaxation that comes with riding, but as any motorcyclist knows, the fun of riding is not without danger. A motorcycle is essentially an open air vehicle, and as such offers little protection in the even of a collision or vehicle accident. Motorcyclists take extra care to ride with their lives in mind, however, sometimes accidents happen, and sometimes, these accidents can be fatal.
Fatal Motorcycle Accidents On The Rise
A recent study of the year 2015 has shown some alarming data regarding motorcycle accidents. In New Hampshire, deaths related to accidents involving motorcycles have risen 10% between 2014 and 2015, according to the data collected in the study. 2014 had a total of 4,548 accidents that resulted in death, while 2015 was estimated to have over 5,000 deadly motorcycle accidents, nationwide. New Hampshire in particular has seen a spike of motorcycle fatalities, with an increase from 17 fatalities in 2014 to 26 total fatalities in 2015. While it may seem like the death toll is relatively small compared the larger statistics nationwide, it is important to remember that New Hampshire is often seen as somewhat of a haven for motorcyclists. New Hampshire’s vivid scenery and long highways, along with special events each year dedicated to motorcycle enthusiasts make it a great destination for anyone who enjoys riding. Unfortunately, with such a large spike in deaths, motorcyclists will want to be on the watch for potential threats to their safety and well being.
For a motorcyclist, cars on the road can be a very serious threat. A motorcycle is an open air vehicle, exposing the rider to extreme injury, should an accident occur. Because of this both rider and driver alike must take extra precautions to avoid collisions. If an accident occurs, both drivers should remain on scene until help arrives. Unfortunately for one motorcyclist in Concord, this was not the case. Concord police are currently searching for the perpetrator of a serious vehicle accident. A hit and run occurred close to 5:30 pm this week past. A motorcyclist was struck by another driver on the road, driving a white car. The vehicle fled the scene shortly after. The motorcyclist was hospitalized with serious injuries, and the hit and run driver is still at large.
Hit-And-Run In New Hampshire
When someone suffers an injury due to another party’s negligence, the victim reasonably assumes that the injuring party is responsible for the accident and resulting damages. But many states have comparative liability laws that take the victim’s liability into account and deduct compensation payments based on the amount of responsibility attributed to the injured person.
Helmet laws are one example of the effects of comparative liability. When helmet use is not required by law an injured person may not be held responsible for an accident. When helmet use is required, the injured person’s own negligence will play an important role in compensation determination.
Motorcycle Accidents in NH on the Rise
Summer weather in New Hampshire brings motorcycle rides out in full force. With an abundance of spectacular scenery, NH offers motorcycle enthusiasts great destination rides. Start a day in the White Mountains, travel through the Lakes Region and end your day at the Seacoast. NH offers motorcyclists some wonderful adventures. Despite the joy and freedom associated with motorcycling, there has been an increase in motorcycle accidents and fatalities in New Hampshire lately. During the month of July alone there have been a handful of serious and or fatal accidents involving motorcycles. Such collisions have occurred throughout the state including Manchester, Nashua, Concord and other communities.
Nashua, NH for instance, was voted Best City to Live in America which is quite a feat for any U.S. city. It certainly deserves the title given its ideal bedroom community setting amidst dozens of shopping outlets, representing almost any American store chain, along with its vast array of multicultural dining spots.
But Nashua, like any other American city, is also home to serious motorcycle collisions and auto accidents. And these collisions can be life changing for an injured accident victim, especially motorcycle rides and their passengers.
Common Types of Motorcycle Injuries
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.
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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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.
Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
A man from Pittsfield, New Hampshire was killed recently when his motorcycle crashed into another vehicle. Police told WMUR, that the 54-year-old man was riding behind a vehicle on Suncook Valley Highway. When the lead vehicle turned right an SUV pulled on the Highway from the side road and the motorcycle hit it. Authorities said an off-duty firefighter attempted to perform CPR, but he died at the scene.
Although Labor Day has come and gone, there will still be hundreds of motorcycles on the roads as we move into fall. There are some things to keep in mind both as a motorcyclist as well as a vehicle driver.
Bikers, remember to wear protective equipment. This includes a helmet, eye protection, ear protection, jackets, gloves, riding pants, and boots. In the event of a crash, these safety items may not only help to protect your skin from significant road rash, they could save your life.