Boston Motorcycle Safety: A Primer

8040161021_d3e302ff7bRiding motorcycles brings out the fun, adventure, and fearlessness in those thrill-seekers among us. While there are risks associated with driving in any type of motor vehicle, those risks are amplified when riding a motorcycle. Without the same airbag protection as cars, without being encased in steel, and with nothing separating a driver from the road except clothing, motorcycle accidents can be particularly catastrophic.

Within the last week, two motorcycle fatalities were reported to Massachusetts authorities. The first occurred on I-30 and involved a 33-year-old man who crashed into the back of a construction vehicle in a construction zone. He was allegedly driving at fast speeds before the accident. The second accident occurred the next day and involved a stolen motorcycle. The driver crashed into a pole, was not wearing a helmet, and investigators say the driver had a revoked license at the time of the crash.

Massachusetts Motorcycle Law

If you are a motorcycle rider, the best thing you can do is abide by traffic and safety laws to ensure your safety on the road among other vehicles. Once you obtain your specialized motorcycle license, you still have other obligations to fulfill. For example, there are requirements pertaining to handlebar height, helmet speakers (not allowed), helmets (required), eye protection (required during instructional permit use), and insurance.

Massachusetts arguably has more stringent requirements than other states, but all for motorcycle riders’ benefit. Many states shockingly do not require helmet use, which is one of the primary reasons for fatal accidents among motorcycle riders. For instance, helmets are estimated to have saved nearly 30 lives in 2009 alone. It is important to remember that when you enter another state, you are required to abide by their state vehicle codes regardless of where your license is from. Massachusetts will honor other state’s motorcycle licenses for temporary periods, but that does not excuse out-of-staters from the Massachusetts helmet requirements. This website is a great resource to familiarize yourself with other states’ motorcycle laws to ensure you are in compliance when traveling there.

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcycles can be fun and exciting modes of transportation. The best way to stay safe is to follow Massachusetts motorcycle and road laws and to take extra precautions when around other vehicles. No matter how careful you are, however, you cannot always count on other drivers displaying the same amount of caution. If you or anyone you know has been involved in a motorcycle accident or any type of auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Other drivers on the road owe motorcyclists the same duties that they owe to other drivers—to drive cautiously, to watch for oncoming traffic, and to treat motorcycles as if they were cars. Massachusetts law is clear the two vehicles are treated the same way on our roadways, and while motorcyclists have heightened responsibility to watch out for cars, cars must do the same for motorcyclists. If a driver fails to take adequate precautions while driving around motorcycles, they may be found liable for your injuries.

Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys are prepared to familiarize ourselves with your case and special circumstances. We understand the effect that an injury can have on your personal, family, and financial well-being. Contact John J. Sheehan for a free consultation about your potential case today and let us take action on your behalf so you can focus on recovery.

Photo Credit: driver Photographer via Compfight cc

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