In our blog we will try to provide you with general information regarding car accidents, motorcycle crashes, and personal injury cases, as well as updates in important cases and statutes dealing with family law in New Hampshire. This is not to be construed as legal advice. Every case is unique and small facts can make a difference.
The Most Common Causes of New Hampshire Motorcycle Accidents
In the state of New Hampshire, motorcycle accidents, while they do not occur with more frequency than other types of vehicular accidents, often result in more serious injuries and fatalities than accidents that only involve passenger vehicles. According to a report released by the federal government, in 2006 per mile traveled, there 35 times more fatalities result from motorcycle accidents than from automobile accidents. Because of such troubling statistics, it is highly beneficial for New Hampshire motorcyclists to learn about the most common causes of accidents and to utilize such info to lower their level of risk.
Head On Collisions & Motorcycles
Accidents involving other automobiles and motorcycles account for approximately 56% of motorcycle accidents resulting in fatalities. In an overwhelming majority of these accidents, in fact 78% of the time, a passenger vehicle strikes the motorcycle from the front. Only in 5% of motorcycle accidents is the motorcyclist struck from behind. Head on collisions between a motorcycle and a car usually result in death for the motorcyclist.
Automobiles Making Left Hand Turns
The most dangerous scenario for a motorcyclist occurs when an automobile is making a left hand turn. In all motorcycle/vehicular accidents in New Hampshire, this scenario accounts for 42% of accidents. In general, the turning vehicle hits a motorcycle when the bike’s owner is:
§ Attempting to overtake the automobile
§ Trying to pass the car
§ Going straight through an intersection
These scenarios occur frequently between two passenger vehicles as well; however, the smaller size of a motorcycle makes it significantly less visible to a turning automobile. Moreover, even more vulnerable are motorcycles that attempt to pass passenger vehicles within the same lane. Motorists do not expect, and are usually taken by surprise, when a motorcyclist attempts such a maneuver.
In most scenarios, an automobile that strikes another automobile while commencing a left hand turn will be determined at fault in the accident. However, if a motorcyclist was in the wrong lane or was speeding, then he or she may be found at fault in the accident. In the state of New Hampshire, this means that a motorcyclist injured in an accident will receive less compensation from the insurance company of the vehicle’s driver for damages and injuries sustained in the accident. In several states, motorcyclists are barred from receiving any type of compensation whatsoever.
Motorcyclists Who Split Lanes
Splitting a lane occurs when a motorcyclist attempts to drive between two lanes of slowly moving or stopped cars, generally in traffic jams. There are several factors that contribute to the frequency of lane splitting as a common cause of accidents:
§ The close proximity of the motorcycle to passenger vehicles
§ The reduced amount of space in which a motorcyclist has to maneuver
§ Other motorists do not anticipate that such a maneuver will be performed
If an accident happens while a motorcyclist is attempting to split lanes, whether the automobile or motorcycle is at fault depends primarily on whether lane splitting is legally allowed in that state. In New Hampshire, this maneuver is not permissible.
Alcohol Use & Motorcyclist Speeding
Nearly half of the accidents that occur in New Hampshire involving a single motorcycle were caused by either speeding or alcohol use. Considering that these factors play such a significant role in other vehicular accidents, this statistic should not come as a surprise. However, the primary difference is that motorcycles do not afford their operators much in the way of protection. Consequently, such accidents are highly more likely to involve serious injury or death.
Accidents Between Fixed Objects and Motorcycles
Collisions between fixed objects and motorcycles account for approximately 25% of motorcycle fatalities, but just 18% of fatalities involving passenger vehicles. Because a motorcyclist is not surrounded by a protective encasement of metal, he or she is far more likely to be roughly thrown a far distance. When riding a motorcycle, such accidents are considerably more deadly.
When standard road hazards are present, motorcyclists face a significantly higher percentage of danger than other types of automobiles. Due to their less stable nature and smaller size, dead animals, potholes, uneven heights between lanes, slick pavement conditions, unexpected objects, and other irregularities pose a serious safety hazard to motorcycles.
High Performance Motorcycles
Although they comprise only a small portion of the motorcycles on New Hampshire’s roadways, high performance motorcycles account for a disproportionately high number of accidents involving motorcycles. High performance bikes generally fall into one of two categories: sport motorcycles or supersport motorcycles.
When compared to the drivers of conventional motorcycles, that fatality rate among operators of supersport motorcycles is approximately 4 times higher. In general, riders of conventional motorcycles are usually older (over the age of 40).
While those who own and operate motorcycles have a higher risk of being involved in a serious or fatal accident than other motorists, they can increase their personal safety by educating themselves about the most common causes of accidents and following the appropriate steps to avoid or reduce these risks, ranging from resisting the temptation to speed or avoiding lane splitting.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in the state of New Hampshire, your immediate first step should be to contact a skilled and experienced NH personal injury lawyer. This is where our NH attorneys can step in to offer their assistance. For a free consultation regarding your case, please contact our law offices today.
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This site does not constitute legal advice. An attorney client relationship is formed only after an agreement is entered into between an Attorney of Liberty Legal and a client is reached. Past results do not guarantee future results.
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