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Car/truck drivers cause most motorcycle accidents by inattention

Contrary to public perception, most accidents involving motorcycles in New Hampshire and elsewhere are not the fault of the motorcycle operator. A certain perceptual failing exists that makes it difficult for larger vehicles to clearly observe cycles on the road prior to the occurrence of many motorcycle accidents. This may have been at least a partial factor in causing an event that occurred recently at a crosswalk in Laconia.

A 17-year-old teen was using a crosswalk on Union Avenue when a male motorcycle operator traveling eastward stopped for the female pedestrian. A pickup truck crashed into the stationary cycle from behind and then struck the pedestrian. Laconia police said that neither impairment nor speed were the likely culprits in causing the accident; they indicated instead that driver inattention probably caused the accident.

The police also stated that the accident remained under investigation. Responders took the girl to Concord Hospital. She was later transferred to Lakes Regional General Hospital, where she was being treated for a suspected pelvic fracture. The cycle operator was also being treated in a local hospital for personal injuries.  

The 28-year-old male pickup driver of Laconia will most likely be liable to compensate both victims in this traumatic crash. This was a rear-end collision with all indications pointing to operator inattention by the pickup driver. The pickup driver may also have exacerbated his negligence by failing to see the motorcycle prior to impact.

Due to the natural dangers to motorcycles in similar types of motorcycle accidents in New Hampshire and elsewhere, it is recommended that operators and passengers maximize all forms of lighting on their bikes. They may also to some extent be protected by wearing light-colored clothes that will attract attention. Other than that, and the following of all traffic laws, they will have to accept and understand the risks associated with this popular New Hampshire leisure activity.     

Source:, "Teen hospitalized after Laconia crash", Bea Lewis, Aug. 9, 2017

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