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Working to reduce the number of motorcycle accidents

Improving weather conditions lead to an increase in the number of motorcycles on the roads, and law enforcement agencies are urging both drivers and riders to do their part to keep injuries and fatalities to a minimum. According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, 35 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2013, which is a modest improvement over previous years.

Many of these fatalities occur when motorists fail to see motorcycles before making turns, pulling out into traffic or changing lanes. Remembering to look out for those on two wheels will help, according to a Hingham police sergeant, but accidents happen even when drivers do notice approaching motorcycles. This is because they are used to judging the speed and distance of larger vehicles, and they frequently do not appreciate how close a motorcycle is or how fast it is traveling. The sergeant recommends that drivers wait to let motorcycles pass if there is any doubt at all.

There are also calls for more intensive training for new riders. Many of those killed in motorcycle accidents are inexperienced riders, or they are on machines with performance capabilities that far exceed their skill level. The Massachusetts Motorcycle Association is asking legislators to reintroduce a law that allocated $2 from each motorcycle registration toward programs that included training for new riders.

Motorcycle riders are particularly vulnerable to the negligent actions of distracted, inattentive or reckless drivers, and even low-speed accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries. Those injured in motorcycle accidents are frequently unable to work for prolonged periods, and they often encounter severe financial difficulties. Personal injury attorneys could pursue civil remedies for those in such situations by filing lawsuits seeking monetary compensation against the negligent drivers responsible.

Source: The Enterprise, "Police urge drivers to watch for motorcycles", Neal Simpson , June 20, 2014

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