Disclaimer - By publishing this information on this Web site, the Boston, Massachusetts law firm of Altman & Altman LLP is not claiming to represent any clients or cases mentioned here. The content provided is designed to inform readers and is not intended as legal advice.

Warmer Weather Leads to Increase in Massachusetts Motorcycle Accidents

Anyone who owns a motorcycle in Massachusetts will tell you his or her favorite season is summer.  The warm temperatures and sunny skies are the ideal climate for passionate motorcycle riders.  Even more motorcycle riders are out and about these days.  According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, sales of new motorcycles have been up more than 8 percent through the first quarter.  However, motorcycles are also notoriously dangerous vehicles.  In 2014, 4,586 people died and 92,000 people were injured in motorcycle crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Noticing the sales growth and hoping to learn how to increase motorcycle safety, Progressive Insurance analyzed data acquired from its motorcycle claims data from 2014 to see what information could be used.  From Progressive’s data from 2014, the insurance company discovered:

  • Four of the top 10 days that experienced the most claims for customers occurred in June.
  • Most motorcycle accidents occur in the summer months with Saturdays being the most dangerous day to ride.
  • July experienced 78 percent more claims on average than any other month in the year
  • In 2014, Progressive had more single-vehicle motorcycle claims than the next three most common claims collectively, those being rear-end accidents, intersection accidents, and stolen motorcycles.

Although motorcycle riders should be vigilant while driving all the time, Scott Hall, Progressive’s motorcycle product manager, urged for even more attentiveness in the summer months.  Most accidents involving motorcycles are single-vehicle accidents, meaning the only vehicle involved is the motorcycle.  Hall linked the effect winter can have on roads, especially in northern cities with harsher winters, saying winters can be “absolutely brutal on roadways across the country, so looking ahead for potholes and leaving plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you will help avoid accidents.”

There are several safety precautions you should take when breaking your bike back out for the warmer weather.  For most, motorcycles only experience seasonal use.  It’s not exactly enjoyable to maneuver a motorcycle through the slippery roads left behind after a rough nor’easter.  Typically, when the warmer months do arrive, it has been a while since you last jumped on the old Harley.  Before you take the bike out for its first spin of the season, do a onceover check to assure tire tread, air pressure, and all lights are in check.  Also consider investing in some select summer gear or accessories, such as warm weather helmets, gloves, drink holders, or luggage racks.  It is easy to forget about your insurance during the winter months when your motorcycle is stored away.  Remember to renew your policy or purchase a new one and ensure the policy covers your state minimum requirements.  A refresher course might also be a good idea, especially if you are still a relatively new rider.  Once you are on the road, some safety tips you should always follow regardless of season include remaining visible to other drivers and being prepared for passengers, i.e. additional helmets and riding gear.  Finally, be respectful on the road; motorcycles offer unique maneuverability, which can be tempting to exploit especially in bumper-to-bumper traffic.  Safety should always be a priority when on the road, and knowing the summer is more dangerous should only heighten your awareness of roadway hazards.

If you been involved in a motorcycle accident and would like to speak to one of our experienced injury lawyers, give us a call for a free case consultation. 617-492-3000.

 

“July Most Dangerous Month for Motorcycle Crashes According to Progressive Claims Data.” Claims Journal News. N.p., 02 July 2015. Web. 27 July 2016.

Leigey, Jodie. “Top 10 Motorcycle Safety Tips for Summer.” Gallen Insurance. N.p., 13 June 2016. Web. 27 July 2016.

“Motorcycle Crashes.” Insurance Information Institute. N.p., June 2016. Web. 27 July 2016.