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Federal Study Finds Unlicensed Motorcyclists More Likely to Suffer Serious Injury

Motorcyclists who ride their bikes without the proper license or endorsement are more likely than unlicensed car or truck drivers to suffer crashes resulting in serious injury or even death, according to a recent study published by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA).

The study examined data on injury-causing motorcycle accidents from all fifty U.S. states between 2002 and 2006. It found that, on average, 25 percent of motorcycle accidents resulting in serious injury or death involved a motorcyclist who did not have the motorcycle license or motorcycle endorsement his or her state requires. In contrast, only about 11 percent of serious car accidents involved an unlicensed or improperly-licensed driver. Motorcyclists or moped drivers who were not required to have any special license or endorsement were included in the group of properly-licensed drivers.

The study also broke down the nationwide numbers by state. The NHTSA report reveals that New Hampshire’s averages were about the same as the national average – with 25 percent of motorcyclists involved in serious accidents who lacked the proper license – in most years.

While the NHTSA report did not offer a guess as to why so many improperly-licensed motorcyclists suffer severe accidents, the reason may be that motorcyclists without a proper license or endorsement are less likely to have taken or passed a motorcycle safety class. These classes give riders crucial information on how to decrease their risk of serious accidents. New Hampshire motorcycle law requires motorcyclists to have a valid license, endorsement, or learner’s permit when operating a motorcycle on public roads.

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash, you have certain legal rights. At Tenn And Tenn, P.A., our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys in New Hampshire also ride, so we know firsthand the kinds of risks that bikers face. To learn more about your rights and options after an accident, call us today at 603-624-3700 for a free telephone consultation.

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