Among the many events New Hampshire is famous for, Bike Week in Laconia is surely among the most well renowned. Dating back to 1916, the Laconia Motorcycle Rally is the oldest running motorcycle rally in the world. The event draws hundreds of thousands of motorcycles to the Granite State. This week is a major tourism week for the state, and one that New Hampshire is quite proud of. Along with all of the motorcycles, you have likely seen dozens of signs reminding vehicles to watch out for motorcycles to avoid potentially fatal collisions. With hundreds of thousands of bikes on the road, interactions between cars and motorcycles become more common, and drivers need to watch out. Because Parnell, Michels & McKay can assist with motorcycle accidents, we want to discuss why it is so important for drivers to heed these warnings and pay extra care to look out for motorcycles.

People are naturally trained to seek patterns. On average, around 1 in 10 vehicles on the road is a motorcycle. Drivers often get used to the pattern of seeing other cars around them, but motorcycles break this expectation. The smaller shape and size of a motorcycle compared to a car means that drivers sometimes need additional looks or additional time to spot the rider. In studies using eye tracking technologies, drivers were shown to completely miss a motorcycle that was directly in their field of vision due to this bias. Due to the shape and size of motorcycles being different from driver’s expectations, drivers also often have difficulties judging the speed and distance of motorcycles. Finally, because motorcycles are smaller than vehicles, many motorcyclists are simply overlooked by drivers when checking for a left turn. One of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents occurs when a driver attempts to take a left turn in front of the cyclist.

Another factor is the growing size of vehicles, particularly pickup trucks and SUVs. Both of these vehicle types are increasingly popular in the United States, and studies have shown that the average size of these vehicles is also increasing. With a larger vehicle also comes larger blind spots, another leading cause of motorcycle accidents. While blind spot indicators are helpful in identifying motorcycles in a vehicle’s blind spot, drivers should always take care to double check.

Distracted driving is ever more prevalent in the age of smartphones. By putting the phone down and turning down the volume of music in the vehicle, drivers should be able to either see or hear a motorcycle approaching, reducing collisions. Distracted driving also leads to obvious mistakes, such as failing to engage a turn signal. When a motorcyclist is driving behind a larger vehicle, that motorcyclist needs as much notice as possible of the vehicle’s intentions. Riders need additional time to adapt to the movements of these larger vehicles. The same is true for when a driver is behind a rider, when the motorcycle turns on their turn signal, drivers should be sure to give them plenty of space as they may need to slow down as they head into the turn.

If you are a motorcyclist who has been injured while driving in New Hampshire, possibly during Laconia Motorcycle Rally week, you should consider speaking with the team of personal injury attorneys. At Parnell, Michels & McKay, our personal injury attorneys are prepared to speak with you to discuss the specifics of your claim and guide you through the process. Our personal injury attorneys have proven success with litigating motorcycle claims, even where insurance companies deny all responsibility and refuse to pay.

We have to locations to serve you:

25 Nashua Road Suite C5, Londonderry, NH 03053. The phone number is (603) 434-6331.

137 Main Street, P.O Box 669, N. Woodstock, NJ 03262. The phone number is (603) 745-8600.