Spring has finally arrived in New Hampshire, which means motorcycle season is quickly approaching. Before you hit the road, it’s important to make sure that your motorcycle is in a safe operating condition. Motorcycles that are properly maintained are less likely to be involved in accidents. Be sure to check the following equipment on your bike before your first ride this spring.
Motorcycle accidents are stressful enough without having to worry how you will care for your family and pay for the medical bills that may be flooding in due to physical injuries because of the accident. Motorcycle accidents are expensive, in part due to the seriousness of the injuries sustained, but also because those injuries often require a long road to recovery.
Physical injuries are the types of injuries that immediately come to mind when people think about the occurrence of a motor vehicle accident. However, emotional injuries, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) also frequently occur and are often overlooked. It is important to examine the types of damages that are recoverable in motorcycle accident cases in New Hampshire.
Types of Damages Recovered in a New Hampshire Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycles are a true representation of freedom on the road. With the motorcycles rise in popularity has also come the rise in the number of motorcycle accidents. Accidents can be caused by hazardous road conditions, impaired driving, or negligent drivers. It is essential that motorcyclists understand their risks and rights before hitting the road.
Motorcycle Road Safety in New Hampshire
Earlier this year, the state of New Hampshire released the “New Hampshire Highway Safety Plan” in fulfillment of section 402 grant requirements of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In this plan, the state presented detailed statistics about New Hampshire motorcycle fatalities between the years of 2012-2016. They were broken by several different factors.
Unhelmeted Motorcycle Fatalities
Riding a motorcycle down the open road can be invigorating. However, there are risks that come with riding a motorcycle and sharing the road with other vehicles. Dangerous road conditions and negligent drivers are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in New Hampshire. In February 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the 2016 data on “Traffic Safety Facts” for Motorcycles. Some of the key findings about motorcycles on the road in 2016 are as follows:
- There were 5,286 motorcyclist fatalities in 2016, a 5.1% increase from 2015;
- Fatalities for motorcycle riders was nearly 28 times higher than passenger vehicle fatalities based on miles traveled;
- 57% of motorcycle fatalities occurred in urban areas; and
- 97% of motorcycle fatalities occurred under cloudy or clear conditions.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Motorcycle Accident in New Hampshire
Some of the dangers involved with riding a motorcycle may be clearer than others. Motorcyclists should, of course, be ever vigilant but they are unable to control every factor they may face while driving. Dangerous road conditions can creep up on a motorcycle driver in no time and it is an important part of motorcycle safety to review what types of hazardous roadways may be lurking.
Hazardous Roadways in New Hampshire
Some of the most dangerous roads in New Hampshire cannot be avoided or controlled by motorcyclists. Often, roadways that become hazardous to motorcyclists may be due to construction, neglect to upkeep roadways causing potholes, and even inclement weather can turn a roadway dangerous. The New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles motorcycle safety training utilizes the Motorcycle Safety Foundation “Motorcycle Operator Manual” for New Hampshire motorcycle training courses. The manual outlines some of the most prominent dangerous roadway conditions for motorcycle operators.
The month of May is frequently the first of the year that is warm enough for motorcycles to be out on the roads of New Hampshire on a regular basis. After being hidden in garages all winter, the sudden presence of motorcycles on the roads can come as a surprise. This can make it helpful for motorcyclists and car drivers to review some of the safety tips that can prevent a motorcycle accident.
Motorcyclists: Wear a Helmet
Motorcyclists are probably tired of hearing this safety tip. They are probably sick of hearing estimates by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that say helmets saved the lives of 1,772 bikers in 2015 alone.
One of the most severe injuries that results from pelvic trauma is a fractured pelvis. However, there are lots of other forms of pelvic trauma, and many of them are just as severe as a fractured pelvis. They include:
- Broken hip
- Dislocated hip
- Bladder injuries, including perforation
- Nerve damage
- Severed arteries
- Injuries to the reproductive organs.
Many of these injuries can be complicated with other factors in ways that can quickly become life-threatening. For example, a bladder that has been pierced from an instance of pelvic trauma can leak urine into the surrounding organs in your abdomen, to devastating effect.
NH Motorcycle Accidents and Pelvic Trauma
Out of the 50 states in the U.S., there are only three that do not legally require motorcyclists to wear a helmet. New Hampshire is one of those three.
The issue of whether to require motorcyclists to wear a helmet is polarizing, especially in a state whose motto is Live Free or Die. However, the facts and statistics all support making helmets mandatory. Nevertheless, lawmakers in our state have firmly and repeatedly refused to pass a bill that would require bikers to wear a helmet, like in the rest of the country.
Here is why.
Forcing Riders to Wear Helmets Infringes Freedom
The core of all of the arguments against a law requiring helmets on motorcyclists is that it infringes on their rights and freedoms. As adults, they should be able to choose whether to be safe and wear a helmet or “feel the open road” and go without one. Many people claim that, because their choice not to wear a helmet does not impact anyone else, the law should not dictate what they can or cannot do.
Riding a motorcycle is a wonderfully exhilarating experience that stimulates your senses and provides a feeling of freedom and enjoyment. There are more motorcycles on the road today than ever before. According to statistics released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) motorcycle use is at an all-time high in the United States. Unfortunately, with so many motorcycles on the roads today, a significant increase in motorcycle crashes and injuries has also occurred. Studies show that there has been a greater than 50% increase in motorcycle injuries over the 7 year period from 2001 to 2008. If a motorcyclist is injured due to the fault of another, they are entitled to receive compensation for their injuries. And if the injuries are severe and result in death, the victim’s family can recover compensation for the loss of their loved one.
New Hampshire Motorcycle Accidents and Injuries
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.