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Stay safe during Laconia motorcycle week

This week is Laconia Motorcycle Week, taking place from June 11 to 19. It is the oldest motorcycle rally in the world, having been in existence for 93 years. During this extraordinary week bikers from all over the country take in the beautiful scenery throughout New Hampshire. The goal is to celebrate riding, stay safe and start the summer motorcycle riding season off with a good time.

This is also a good time of the year to remind the public of motorcycle safety. The month of May was Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and June 20 is National Ride to Work Day, so this is a good time to increase the public's knowledge of how to reduce the risk of motorcycle accidents over the summer. Particularly, it is important to remind drivers to share the road with motorcycles and practice safe driving strategies that have been shown to reduce the risk of serious accidents.

When accidents strike they can have tragic consequences. In 2014 over 4,500 motorcyclists and passengers were killed and 88,000 were injured. There are two aspects to avoiding death and injury on a motorcycle. The first is the responsibility of the motorcycle rider and the second the responsibility of other road users.

For motorcycle riders:

The good news is the majority of riders now wear a helmet. Still, about one-third of bikers seldom or never wear a helmet while riding. Wearing a helmet is the single biggest factor in saving bike riders and passengers from being killed or suffering a serious head injury in an accident. Federal data shows around 40 percent of riders and 53 percent of passengers were not wearing helmets when involved in a fatal accident.

The second biggest cause of fatalities and crashes is due to the intoxication of the rider, which accounts for around 43 percent of crashes where no other vehicle was involved.

For other motorists:

While motorcyclists can do their part to reduce accident risk, the majority of accidents between motorists and motorcycles are the fault of the motorists. Many of these accidents were due to preventable errors, including:

  • Distracted driving
  • Failing to use side and rearview mirrors periodically
  • Failing to check for motorcycles before making any turns or lane changes

Educating the public about motorcycle safety has helped lower the risk of motorcycle riding. Safe riding and reminding motorists to share the road is a continually need, particularly as the start of motorcycle season kicks off this week.

We hope your summer riding season is fun and safe.

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Rochester, NH 03867

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