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Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

It is common knowledge amongst Massachusetts residents that, if you can drive here, you can probably drive anywhere. Massachusetts motorists are not known for their patience, forgivingness or attention to proper safety techniques while behind the wheel, and as a result there are many intersections and junctions in the state where dozens upon dozens of crashes happen every year.

Recent data collected and analyzed from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) by various Boston media outlets showed that, from 2004 to 2013, the five intersections that saw the most crashes were as follows:

  1. Columbia Road at the Expressway, South Boston (296 crashes)
  2. Middlesex Turnpike at Route 128, Burlington (295 crashes)
  3. Granite Avenue and the Expressway, Milton (245 crashes)
  4. North Washington Street and the Central Artery, Boston (232 crashes)
  5. Route 128 and I-93 junction, Woburn (225 crashes)

Although these intersections and junctions contain the highest likelihood according to the data for a motorist to become involved in a minor accident, or an accident with injuries, they are not the deadliest intersections in the state. The I-93/I-495 junction in Andover and the junction of Routes 3 and 18 in Weymouth both had two fatalities over the 10-year span of data.

Regardless of the severity, any accident can become a gigantic burden for anybody involved. Even some minor fender benders can cost thousands of dollars to repair. If the damage is bad enough that you need to bring the car to the garage, that complicates your work schedule immensely, and may require you to take days off work while it is fixed, making you lose out on income.

Should the accident cause a serious injury, you could be facing multiple thousands of dollars in repairs and medical bills. In this situation, missing work is a certainty.

A majority of accidents happen due to simple driver error, and far too many of these accidents are caused by distractions. The commute is no time to send or check emails, do your makeup or hair, eat leftover soup or catch up on that book you’re enjoying. In no situation is driving impaired – by alcohol or other substances – ever a good idea.

If you are involved in an accident where another driver was at fault and was clearly distracted, you have a legal right to seek damages from that driver for their negligent actions. If another driver broke the rules of the road, like performing an illegal U-turn that resulted in an accident, you may also be able to file a claim against them to seek financial compensation to pay for repairs to your car or for injuries incurred.

Police and government officials can try to implement new policies, put more signs up and crack down on dangerous activities such as drinking and driving or texting and driving, but the only true deterrent for accidents at any location on the road is the behavior of the drivers themselves. People must appreciate the power of the machinery they are operating, and respect that they are placing their lives in the hands of others every time they go out for a drive. Continue reading

The weather is warm and it’s the perfect time of year to take in the sights on your motorcycle. With a significant increase in the number of vehicles on the road during summer, it is also the time of year when you are most vulnerable on your motorcycle. Riding always comes with risks, but knowing the top causes of accidents can help you avoid becoming a statistic. Contact a Boston Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today.

Speeding

Yes, it is exhilarating to ride your motorcycle full throttle on an open road. But it is also a good way to get killed or become permanently injured. Speeding is a major factor in many motorcycle accidents. It’s also illegal, so resisting the temptation will keep you safe and out of trouble. Losing control at high speeds is much easier than when you’re staying at or under the speed limit.

Left-Hand Turns

More motorcycle accidents occur when cars make left-hand turns than with any other type of road situation. The turning car most often hits a motorcycle when the bike is going straight through the intersection, or if passing or attempting to overtake the automobile.

Keep Your Distance

To avoid a rear-end collision, keep your distance from the vehicle in front of you. Should the car stop suddenly, you need sufficient room to brake to keep your bike from plowing into the vehicle.

Lane Splitting

Cars are often stuck in traffic jams. When motorcyclists decide to take advantage of their small size by weaving in and out of heavy traffic, it’s called lane splitting. These motorcycle maneuvers are a common cause of accidents because automobile drivers are not looking for motorcyclists to pass them when the lane is moving slowly. If you lane split, you have very little room to move your bike. It does not take much for a car to knock you into oncoming traffic.

In most jurisdictions, lane splitting is either illegal or interpreted as such by law enforcement officers.

Dangerous Conditions

Since motorcycles are much less stable than other types of motor vehicles, bad road conditions particularly affect them. Uneven pavement or roadway debris may not cause much trouble for a car or truck, but can prove deadly to motorcyclists.

Bends and Corners

If you are unfamiliar with a road, it is not difficult to miscalculate when you are rounding a bend or corner.  If you are going too fast or your timing is bad, hitting the brakes can force you off your bike. While it is always crucial to pay careful attention to your surroundings, that is especially true if you do not know the road.

Blind Spot Collisions

Unfortunately, many automobile and motorcycle collisions occur because the car driver simply did not see the rider. These accidents often occur at intersections. Even parked vehicles are a problem – a driver or passenger may open the door and hit you. Vigilance is the best way to avoid these blind spot collisions.

Drinking and Riding

There is no excuse for drinking and riding, but it happens with motorcyclists as it does with automobile drivers. Because a motorcycle offers no protection, the rider is quite vulnerable. Getting on your bike while under the influence just compounds the issue. Never drink and ride. Continue reading

Bicycling is healthy and great for the environment, but it can also be dangerous. Bicyclists share the road with other vehicles and due to their small size, they can easily disappear in a driver’s blind spot. Just as drivers are required to follow the rules of the road, so are bicyclists. However, a driver should never expect an oncoming bicyclist to obey traffic signals or signs. If, for any reason, a bicyclist doesn’t follow the rules (he or she doesn’t see a sign, isn’t aware of the rules, or just ignores a signal), a driver should yield to the bicycle for safety purposes. As a driver, you may (or may not) be in the right, but trying to prove your point may result in serious harm to the bicyclist. Contact a Boston Injury Attorney Today.

Driving Tips to Keep Everyone Safe

  • The best way to avoid an accident with a bicyclist is to follow the same rules that apply to all aspects of safe driving. Being distracted, tired, or reckless behind the wheel puts everyone in danger.
  • Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Don’t speed.
  • Don’t use your cell phone while driving. If you must make a call, send a text, or adjust your navigation, find a safe place to pull over.
  • Check your blind spots before turning or changing lanes.
  • Make eye contact with oncoming bicyclists (this also applies to pedestrians).
  • Avoid fatigued driving.
  • Don’t drive at night if you have trouble seeing after dark. Especially in Boston, there may still be a lot of cyclists on the roads at night. They should be wearing reflective gear, and their bikes should be equipped with a light and reflectors. But this is not always the case. Always be alert for bicyclists and pedestrians when driving in the city at night.

Continue reading

There are thousands of car accidents every day in the United States. In fact, in a single year there are typically over five million crashes, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If that number sounds high, it’s because more than 50% of those accidents are minor. For many people, this brings up the following question: Do I need to report a minor traffic accident in which no injuries occurred? Contact a Boston Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney Today.

Especially in and around cities, heavy traffic can make accidents difficult to avoid. Thousands of people, many of whom are running late for work or to get to a child’s sporting event, weave in and out of congested traffic, increasing the likelihood of an accident with every vehicle they pass. Heavy traffic also means lots of stopping and starting, both of which can increase your risk of hitting the car in front of you or being rear-ended.

Do I Need to Report a Fender Bender?

When minor accidents or fender benders occur, what should you do? Well, much of that answer depends on the state you are in when the accident occurs. In Massachusetts, you must contact law enforcement at the time of the accident, and submit a motor vehicle crash operator report within 5 days of the accident, if either of the following circumstances are present:

  • The accident resulted in injury or death
  • Damage to one person’s property or vehicle exceeded $1,000.00
  • Never Leave the Scene of an Accident

If nobody was injured and property damage is under $1,000, the accident does not need to be reported. However, do not confuse the reporting exemption with the ability to leave the scene of an accident. If you are involved in any type of auto accident, regardless of how minor, you are required to stop and exchange information with the other parties involved. In Massachusetts, the information you are required to provide to the other motorist(s) is:

  • Name, address, and phone number
  • Driver’s license number
  • License plate number
  • Insurance information

It should be noted that if you leave the sign of an accident, even if no property damage or injuries occurred, your driving privileges may be suspended.

Do I Need to Contact My Insurance Company?

Every auto insurance carrier requires immediate reporting of motor vehicle accidents. If you fail to do so, the decision may come back to bite you. For example, if the other driver notices property damage a few days later and files a claim, you may be denied coverage due to your failure to report the accident when it occurred. Continue reading

Tragedy struck in San Francisco on Sunday when two motorcycle racers from Spain were killed during a World Superbike Race. The race took place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, according to a statement given by a sheriff’s spokesman for Monterey County. A crash occurred that caused a chain-reaction during the first lap of the race. Twenty eight riders took part in the occasion, and witnesses from the event have said that five competitors collided on the pathway which led to many of them being thrown into the dirt surrounding the track. Additional injuries to other riders have not been provided, but sources state that four of the five injured riders received treatment for their injuries while they were still at the venue where the race was taking place. Their identities have not been released at the current time.

The two men who were killed have been positively identified as 35 year old Bernat Martinez of Alberic, Valencia, Spain, and 27 year old Daniel Rivas Fernandez of Moana Galicia, Spain. Each of the men was transported from Mazda Raceway to undisclosed hospitals where they both later died from their injuries. The severity of their wounds has not been made available.

The spokesman for the Monterey County sheriff’s office, Cmdr. John Thornburg, has also stated that the sheriff’s office is not planning to investigate the incident that took place at the MotoAmerica Superbike/Superstock 1000 race. Thornburg has stated that it appears to be an accident and nothing further. Continue reading

“Motorcycles Are Everywhere” a common slogan boasted across bumper stickers and lawn signs throughout the surrounding area. The message was created in 1982 by former Cambridge resident Bob Doiron, a founder of the Massachusetts Motorcycle Association. After retirement he passed along the idea to a motorcycle activist in Amesbury, MA by the name of Paul Cote. After receiving grants from the Plymouth Rock Assurance in 2007-2008, Cote was able to create the very signs urging caution for motorcycles you now see today. These signs and stickers were created in hopes of bringing awareness to the thousands of motorcyclists who take to the streets during the warmer weathered months; motorcyclists who face a great deal of danger from other vehicles driving along the same roads. Continue reading

 

Riding a motorcycle is inherently dangerous. A bike’s small size and lack of enclosure make motorcyclists more vulnerable to injury than other motorists. In fact, motorcycle riders are over 26 times more likely to be killed in a crash than car and truck drivers. However, the risks can be minimized significantly by taking proper precautions when you ride. You can also lessen your chance of having an accident by performing regular maintenance on your bike.

Below is a list of common causes of motorcycle accidents and how to avoid them. By following safe riding practices, you will greatly reduce your risk of serious injury or death. Continue reading

With spring weather finally arriving, more motorcyclists are out on the roads. The chances of a Massachusetts motorcycle crash happening goes up.

In one Westhampton motorcycle accident earlier this week, a 26-year-old Chester, MA man died after he lost control of his bike, crashing. Gregory Asher was pronounced dead at a Northampton hospital.

Just two days before, another rider sustained serious injuries in a Palmer, MA motorcycle accident when his bike collided with a car that was turning right into a Friendly’s parking lot. The motorcyclist, who was thrown off the bike, suffered a leg injury. The driver of the car, which was a Toyota Camry, was given a citation for not yielding the right of way.

Aside from the fact that there are more motorcyclists on the road, poor road conditions because of the winter weather can take a toll. New potholes, as well as gravel, salt, and sand from the previous snow can make road surfaces challenging for riders, especially inexperienced ones. It doesn’t help that a lot of car drivers sometimes forget that thee are supposed to safely ‘share the road’ with motorcycle riders—a reason for the “Share the Road” campaigns over the year to help promote greater motorcyclist awareness.

Continue reading

The family of a 61-year-old motorcyclist has reached a $2.25M wrongful death settlement with the driver of the pickup truck that struck him in May 2012. Robert Kegler was riding his motoricycle when he was hit by a Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck driven by 17-year-old Andrew Kebalo. The teen driver was making a left turn even though Kegler had the right of way on the road at the time.

The impact of the motorcycle collision threw Kegler from his bike. The rider had to be flown by chopper to a hospital where he was pronounced dead just hours later.

Kebalo reportedly told police that even though he saw the motorcycle approaching he figured that he had enough time to take the turn. The 17-year-old was charged with failing to yield the right of way and criminal negligent homicide.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reporting a decline in both the number of Massachusetts motor vehicle crash fatalities as well as how many occurred in total in the U.S. According to the figures for 2013, there were 326 traffic deaths in the state last year, which is a decline from the 383 fatalities in 2012. Alcohol was a factor in 118 of the Massachusetts traffic deaths in 2013.

Nationally, the country lost 32,719 people in roadway crashes in 2013. This is also a decrease from the 33,782 traffic deaths from the year previous.

Overall, between 2012 and 2013, the U.S. saw a reduction in deaths and injuries of truck occupants, passenger car occupants, pedestrians, and young drivers, as well as in accidents where alcohol was a factor.

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