Recently in Motorcycle Accident Category

New England Man Seriously Injured in Snowmobile Accident

Every winter in Massachusetts and throughout New England, people head outdoors and look for fun family activities to do in the cold snowy weather. One of the more popular winter activities is riding a snowmobile.

snow-mobile-at-sefsen-sweden-1-596152-m.jpgWhile some are lucky enough to own a snowmobile, many choose instead to rent one for the day. Snowmobiling can be a lot of fun and excitement, but it can also be very dangerous. According to a recent news article from the Union Leader, a New Hampshire man was seriously injured in a snowmobile accident, and is said to be in a life-threatening condition at a local hospital.

Witnesses say the crash occurred early Tuesday morning on a local pond. The 53-year-old victim was a passenger on a snowmobile being operated by someone else around 3 a.m. Driver crashed into a rock, which was partially exposed from icy surface of the pond. The snowmobile flipped over when it hit the rock throwing female operator and victim off the machine. Victim then crashed into more exposed rocks after being thrown from snowmobile. It should be noted neither victim nor driver were wearing a helmet at the time of this serious accident.

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May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Boston motorcyclists have been waiting through a long winter to get back on their bikes. As the season warms up, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants to remind bikers and motorists to share the road and stay safe. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, a time for riders and drivers to remember to share the road, follow laws, and stay abreast of safety protocol to stay accident-free this riding season.


Motorcycle Safety Awareness month is an opportunity to remind all drivers and riders that we have a responsibility to be aware of other vehicles on the road. Taking this time to remember to driver safely can help prevent future accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Our Boston motorcycle accident attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims. We are also abreast of safety initiatives and directives focused on keeping Massachusetts riders safe. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, our legal team is also prepared to aggressively defend your interests to recover the compensation necessary in the wake of a serious collision.

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Motorcycle Accident on Mass Ave. Kills One

According to Massachusetts State Police (MSP), a 20-year-old motorcyclist was killed while crossing over the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge. Officers report that the biker collided with an SUV and then with a pickup. He was taken to the hospital right after the Boston accident, but was pronounced dead. According to 7News, it happened just before 3:00 p.m. on the Boston side of the bridge. Officers say that the man was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident but it wasn't enough to save his life. The bridge was closed until that evening so that officials could investigate.
"Guy hit the bike, guy went flying, I ran over him," said the pickup driver involved in the accident.

Our Boston motorcycle accident lawyers understand that there are a lot more motorcyclists on our roadways this time of year. For that reason, we're asking drivers to be careful of everyone, especially motorcyclists. These two-wheeled travelers are extremely vulnerable for serious injury or death in the event of an accident. Sometimes not even a helmet is enough to save them. All drivers need to be cautious of one another and keep an eye on our vehicle's surroundings to help to avoid a potentially fatal accident. One wrong move can wind up costing someone's life.

In 2009, there were nearly 5,000 riders who were killed in motorcycle accidents nationwide. In addition to these fatalities, there were 90,000 motorcyclists injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Many of these accidents, injuries and fatalities could have been prevented if drivers took the extra time and actually looked for these riders. Oftentimes, they're just overlooked on our roadways because drivers don't see them or don't give them the proper respect on the road. The truth of the matter is that these travelers have the same rights and follow the same laws as you and I. They should be treated that way, too.

Motorcycle Safety Tips from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT):

-Drive like drivers can't see you. Make your presence known.

-Consider adhering reflective materials to your helmet. Make sure that it's DOT-approved. That's your most valuable piece of protective gear.

-When riding at night, wear bright-colored clothing.

-Be on the lookout in poor weather, traffic and adverse road conditions. Be sure to keep all of your attention on your surroundings.

-Always use your headlights while riding on the highway. You should always use your high beams rather than low beams.

-Avoid hiding in a driver's blind spot, and always signal before making a move.

-Never weave between lanes.

-Never share a lane with a car.

Continue reading "Motorcycle Accident on Mass Ave. Kills One " »

Fatal Motorcycle Accidents in Boston and Elsewhere Up After Nationwide Auto Accident Decrease

Recent statistics from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) note that fatalities from auto accidents nationwide are declining. Well, all of them except motorcyclist fatalities.

According to statistics from the first 9 months of 2011, the number of motorcyclist fatalities has remained the same compared to the previous year, both sitting at nearly 5,000, according to webBikeWorld.
The U.S. is seeing some of its lowest fatality rates since 1949. But the number of fatal motorcycle accidents in Boston and elsewhere just don't seem to budge despite all of the nationwide efforts to raise awareness about these vulnerable drivers. There have been a multitude of campaigns and safety events dedicated to getting drivers to be more aware of our two-wheeled friends on the road but nothing seems to work.

This is worrying officials because while we may have just rounded out National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, we're heading into the summer travel season which allows for more bikers to hit our roadways. With more bikers on our roadways, we see higher risks for accidents and ultimately more fatal accidents than any other time of the year.

Our Boston motorcycle accident attorneys understand that we're seeing a lot more motorcyclists on our roadways. It's the summer, it's that time of year when the weather clears up, the sun shines through and our two-wheeled friends hit the road. It's also a time to raise awareness. For that reason, we're asking motorists to be on the lookout and to help reduce the risk of accidents.

Experts believe these accidents have remained steady because:

-The improving economy has allowed residents with more spending money to purchase motorcycles.

-The high gas prices has more residents riding motorcycles to save at the pump.

-Motorcycle helmet laws are lacking in many states. When motorcycle helmets are not mandatory, less motorcyclists wear them. The fewer helmets on our roadways the more fatal accidents we see.

Dr. James Hedlund of Highway Safety North has done much research into gas prices and the status of the economy with the number of motorcyclist fatalities and there seems to be a direct correlation between them. When the economy is doing well, the number of motorcycle registrations is typically up and so is the number of accidents. When gas prices are high, the number of motorcycle registrations typically rises as well as the fatality numbers. These patterns have been pretty steady since 1990, allowing experts to pretty much predict when we're going to see more fatal motorcycle accidents on our roadways.

"It is disappointing that we are not making progress in motorcycle safety, particularly as fatalities involving other motorists continue to decline," said GHSA Chairman,
Troy Costales.

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Fatal Accidents in Boston and Elsewhere Rank State in Third Place

According to a recent study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and groups with the Trust for America's Health, the state of Massachusetts ranked third in the nation for injury prevention measures. Our state had some of the lowest fatality rates, sitting at about 41 deaths per 100,000 residents resulting from fatal auto accidents in Boston and elsewhere every year. The national fatal injury rate sat at nearly 60 per 100,000 residents.
Included in this report were a number of injury prevention policies that states could enact to help to reduce the number of fatal accidents, according to the Boston Globe. Some of these prevention strategies include strict drunk driving laws, seat belt laws and other regulations to help to prevent domestic violence. Our state was proud to check off 7 out of the 10 recommended policies. Only New York and California ranked higher than us, both being able to check off 9 out of the 10 recommended policies.

Our Boston personal injury attorneys understand that our state has a good number of laws in place that help to reduce the risk of injury. It's up to residents and visitors to abide by these laws for them to actually work. Some of the laws that our state already has include requiring bicyclists under the age of 16 -years-old to wear a helmet, requiring all motorcyclists to wear a helmet on our roadways and requiring all child passengers under the age of 8 to be placed in the proper child seat.

We did lose some points though. We got some marked off for still having our seat belt laws as secondary enforcement. Officers are not allowed to pull over a driver just because they don't have their seat belt on. They have to be breaking another road law before they can be pulled over and cited for not wearing a seat belt.

Massachusetts was however, praised for our laws and regulations to help to prevent and to manage concussions, to keep an eye on prescription drugs and to help to prevent accident overdoses and to make it relatively simple to file and complete a restraining order against a partner who has been deemed violent. Still though, many officials say that there's a whole lot more that could be done and we need to continue working our way to the number one spot as the safest state in the country.

During the summer season, students are out on summer break, families and residents are venturing out on summer vacations and millions of tourists are heading to the area. Make sure that, no matter what you do, you keep safety as a number one priority.

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Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents in Commonwealth Targeted by Walk and Bicycle to School Day

There's going to be thousands of elementary and middle school students who will be celebrating this year's Walk and Bicycle to School Day. This year's program will include a number of events coordinated though the Commonwealth's Safe Routes to School Program. Students are encouraged to join in on the 2nd of May!
In 2011, there were more than 160 schools from across the area that took part in the event, making it the largest one on the books. Since then, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's (MassDOT) Safe Routes to School program has added more than 100 new schools to its list. In the program, MassDOT officials work with school staff, students, parents and local law enforcement officials throughout the Commonwealth to help to promote biking and walking to school. With help from the community, this program pushes to make biking and walking safer and reducing the risks of pedestrian and bicycle accidents in Boston and elsewhere.

Our Boston pedestrian accident lawyers understand that only about 15 percent of students walk or bike to school. During the morning rush hour commutes, more than 10 percent of the traffic is school-related traffic. This causes some congested roadways and a significant increase in air pollution. MassDOT has been organizing the statewide Walk to School Day since 2007. This campaign was designed to help to encourage our young ones to get out, get healthy and to encourage healthy choices.

"The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is committed to building infrastructure improvements near and around our community schools so that children can safely walk or bicycle to school," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO, Richard A. Davey.

There were nearly 250 pedestrians who experienced severe or incapacitating injuries in traffic-related accidents in the state of Massachusetts in 2008, according to the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.

There were 10 cyclists killed in the state of Massachusetts in traffic-related bicycle accidents in 2008. According to federal statistics, about a third of all bicycle accidents are the result of a motorist hitting a bike from behind or failing to yield. About 90 percent of these accidents occur at intersections of in driveways.

While we're promoting riding, biking and walking to school for our young children, it's important for parents and guardians to talk with their school-aged children about the importance of safe traveling habits. Traveling near motor vehicles needs to be taken seriously. Children should know to look both ways before crossing any street, to always cross at a crosswalk or at a street corner, to wear bright colored clothing to be seen by motorists, to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the roadway and to never walk alone at night. By reviewing just a few simple safety rules, we can help to keep our kids on a safe and healthy track to school.

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Boston Road Safety, Part 2: Motorcycles

Motorcycle accidents in Boston are a huge problem, killing and injuring four times as many people as bicycle accidents on our roadways in 2008.

Nationally, motorcycle fatalities have more than doubled in recent years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


Our Boston motorcycle accident attorneys are including this as the second in our nine-part series on Boston Road Safety. The Massachusetts Highway Safety Division began a push at the beginning of the new year to reduce roadway injuries and fatalities.
When it comes to motorcycles, the headlines are hard to escape.

Just last month, a 41-year-old named Christopher Landry died at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital after crashing his motorcycle into a utility pole, according to a news report from the Patriot Ledger.

Investigators say Landry was traveling southbound on Front Street when he veered off the road and into a pole around 4 in the afternoon. He died four days later, and the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

And even more recently, a former network news reporter is facing vehicular homicide charges, after a crash in Plymouth in which a 26-year-old motorcyclist was killed.
WCBVTV in Boston is reporting that 71-year-old Bob Zelnick, who was a reporter with ABC for more than two decades, has been accused of cutting off a motorcyclist who was trying to get onto Route 3 back in October. The 26-year-old motorcyclist died at the scene.

According to news reports, Zelnick's license was suspended at the time of the crash.
He is expected back in court in May.

The NHTSA reports some unsurprising news - motorcycle fatalities are directly impacted by whether a rider wears a helmet.

Some riders say they revel in the freedom of the wind blowing in their hair on the open road. But the risk of not wearing a helmet is simply far too great. In fact, of those motorcyclists who died in crashes, more than half weren't wearing a helmet. What is most critical to keep in mind however, is most accidents involving another vehicle are the fault of the other vehicle's driver.

Further, a recent NHTSA study found that motorcycle deaths have continued a startling upward climb. The numbers had increased more than 60 percent from 1997 to 2004.

Alarmingly, motorcycle riders were more than 26 times more likely to die in a crash than someone in a motor vehicle.

Even more troubling, only 58 percent of motorcyclists are believed to wear their helmet, according to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey.

Most of the riders killed are between the ages of 20 and 29 - far too young to go.
While many motorcycle accidents in Boston and elsewhere are the result of other drivers not paying enough attention, nearly half of all motorcycle crashes involve no one but the motorcyclist, which could point to rider impairment, inexperience or general recklessness.

A motorcyclist, perhaps even more than others on the road, has to drive defensively.

The NHTSA offers the following safety tips:

1. Treat other motorists with courtesy and respect.
2. Avoid tailgating.
3. Avoid riding between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic.
4. Know and obey all traffic laws and ordinances.
5. Avoid excessive noise by leaving the stock muffler in place.
6. Use signals when appropriate.

Continue reading "Boston Road Safety, Part 2: Motorcycles " »

IIHS Recommends Antilock Brakes to Reduce Risks of Motorcycle Accidents in Massachusetts, Nation

Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous. Riders face more risks for being killed in a motorcycle accident in Boston than do the occupants of passenger-vehicles.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says there is one thing that a motorcyclist can do to help reduce these risks -- antilock brakes. To help spread the word, the IIHS has released a new pamphlet, "Motorcycle ABS: Why you want to ride with it," explaining exactly why you're safer with this braking system.
This brochure explains exactly what antilock brakes do, how they work and what their benefits are for riders. It has been created to be handed out at motorcycle showcasing events, rider training programs and other motorcycling venues. The bottom line is that the IIHS is encouraging riders to embrace the new technology and to choose bike models with the safe braking system.

Our Massachusetts motorcycle accident attorneys understand that motorcycles have two separate braking systems, one for the front tire and one for the back. Braking on a motorcycle is much more difficult that braking in a passenger vehicle. When braking on a motorcycle, either wheel can lock up and a driver could potentially lose control or balance and suffer a deadly fall.

When making a sudden brake in a car, the vehicle may skid. No harm done. With the antilock brakes, motorcyclists can brake without the fear of locking up.

"Research shows that motorcycle antilocks dramatically cut the risk of a deadly crash," says Institute president Adrian Lund.

The antilock braking system knows when to reduce the pressure applied on your brakes right before you're about to experience a lockup. The system knows when to reapply pressure once you've regained traction, too. Riders don't typically notice any changes in non-emergency braking with the new system since the technology is only used when the motorcycle's wheels are about to stop spinning.

The braking system comes standard on some bikes and can come as an add-on feature to many bikes. Riders are encouraged to opt for the safe-braking system.

Bikes that have the antlock braking system have been proven to have a near 40 percent lower rate of deadly accidents than the same models without the system, according to the IISH. Highway Loss Data Institute statistics report that there more than a 20 percent reduction in the number of collision insurance claims that are filed for motorcycles with antilocks than for bikes without it.

The braking system has been proven to be safe for motorcyclists of all capabilities. Even the most trained motorcyclists are, at times, forced to brake hard. Road surfaces can play a large role in the outcome of a harsh braking scenario. Unexpectedly sandy or slippery roads can cause a rider to crash. The Austrian Road Safety Board recently conducted a study that concluded that beginner, moderate and expert riders can stop quicker and more safely with the new braking system.

In 2009, more than 4,000 people were killed in motorcycle accidents. If antilock braking systems had been presence on all bikes, experts believe this number could have been much, much lower.

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Man Killed in Motorcycle Accident in Danvers

A recent motorcycle accident in Danvers took the life of a Gloucester man, according to Massachusetts State Police. The accident happened just before 7:00 p.m. on Route 1 when the rider lost control of his bike, and was thrown into a guardrail right by the Route 114 exit. The accident ejected him from his bike and set him through the air about 70 feet. He was transported to the Beverly Hospital and was later pronounced dead, according to the Boston Globe.
Officers were at the scene of the accident within two minutes. Lifesaving efforts were attempted, but failed. They were forced to close some of the northbound lanes on Route 1 to investigate the accident. Traffic was backed up in the area for about an hour. Officers are still investigating the cause of the accident.

Our Boston motorcycle accident attorneys ask all motorcyclists to be extremely cautious on our roadways as riding season comes to a close. Passenger vehicles are the biggest threat to motorcycle riders.

The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that there are more than 7 million motorcycles on the road in the U.S. Every year there are at least a million new motorcycles and dirt bikes purchased.

Recent motorcycle statistics:

-There were nearly 5,500 people killed because of motorcycle accidents in the U.S. in 2008. This illustrates the highest number of motorcyclist fatalities on record.

-Over the last 10 years, the number of motorcycle accidents and deaths has increased every single year.

-More and more motorcyclists 40-years-old and older are dying in motorcycle accidents every day, which directly reflects the number of aging baby boomers.

-The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that a motorcyclist is nearly 40 times more likely to be killed in a motorcycle accident than someone in a passenger vehicle.

-A motorcyclist is nearly 10 times more likely to be injured while driving a motorcycle than while driving a car.

-In 2008, motorcycle accidents represented nearly 15 percent of all traffic accident fatalities.

-Nearly 115,000 motorcycle accidents in 2008 resulted in serious injury of significant property damage.

-According to the NHTSA, nearly 2,000 motorcyclists were saved because they were wearing a helmet at the time of an accident in 2008.

A great many of these accidents can be prevented if we can educate and raise awareness in passenger-vehicle drivers about the dangers that motorcyclists are faced with. More cautious, alert and focused driving habits can help to save riders' lives. It is important to keep a watchful eye out for motorcyclists while driving on our busy Massachusetts roadways. Many riders will be out as the summer riding season comes to a close.

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Boston road rage a big city danger; common cause of Massachusetts car accidents

Last November a 62 year-old man stabbed a 52 year-old driver during a road rage incident following a Boston car accident that caused a traffic jam, according to ABC-5.

The enraged driver claimed the accident was going to make him late to pick up his son. While traffic slowed the driver exited his vehicle and begun to physically harass the nearby victim he accused of causing the backup.
According to a new survey by motorists respond to aggressive driving in all sorts of ways -- more than half return the aggression:

-2 percent of drivers try to run the aggressor off the road

-34 percent honk their horns

-7 percent mimic the aggressive behavior

-19 percent give the finger

-17 percent flash their headlights

-27 percent yell

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as "the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers persons or property." NHTSA reports more that 6 million accidents occur each year with aggressive driving contributing to a substantial number of those incidents.

Aggressive driving is a traffic offense. Road rage is a criminal offense, typically involving assault. Our Boston personal injury lawyers urge drivers to protect themselves with defense-driving habits.

If you come in contact with an aggressive driver there are some tips to help keep you safe:

- Never retaliate.

- If you've been harassed and are being followed do not go home. Go to the nearest police station.

- Be polite, even when others are not.

- Never underestimate other drivers' capacity for rage.

- Do not put others in danger by attempting to outrun the enraged drive. Always drive the speed limit.

- Reduce driving stress by allowing plenty of time to reach your destination.

- Remember you can't control other drivers but you can control yourself.

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Feds highlight injury risks most commonly associated with Boston car accidents

Given the nature of our work, the Boston car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman frequently post reports about motor vehicle and highway safety tips and trends on our Boston Car Accident Lawyer blog. Our goals is simple: to educate motorists wanting to avoid a Massachusetts car accident.

With this in mind, we share updates made to the National Transportation Safety Board's "most wanted" list of vehicle and driver safety improvements.
The NTSB has chosen to focus on five key safety issues - seat belt/child restraint use, impaired and distracted driving habits, and motorcycle safety. Their "most wanted" list recognizes both the advances and shortcomings of each state while reminding state legislators to persists in enacting laws that promote safe driving conditions for all motorists. NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman notes that state governments are in a "unique position to effect the most significant improvement" regarding transportation safety through legislative and enforcement practices.

The following review of Massachusetts traffic safety directives on these five issues is provided by the NTSB:

~ Child occupant protection: Massachusetts is one of 29 states to have in place a booster seat law requiring all child passengers use a booster seat through age 8.

~ Primary seat belt enforcement: Massachusetts one of 19 states that has no law in place regarding primary seat belt enforcement. NTSB officials recommend that a law be enacted requiring all vehicle occupants wear proper safety restraints, be they conventional lap and lap/shoulder belts or installing car seats and booster seats for use in tandem with safety restraints.

Furthermore, the Board requests that law enforcement be unrestricted in observing and ticketing motorists who fail to buckle up. By enacting "primary" enforcement laws, cops are free to stop (and cite) drivers solely upon visual confirmation that any occupants are unrestrained and non-compliant with the law.

~ Distracted driving: Massachusetts is one of 46 states with a Graduated Drivers License program that meets all NTSB recommendations. As for passenger restrictions, Massachusetts is one of 15 states that have enacted some, but not all, of Board directives. Therefore, currently implemented law fails to meet Board safety standards. (Of note, the NTSB reports that with each additional teenage passenger, so increases the risk a teen driver will crash.)

Regarding the matter of wireless communication restrictions, Massachusetts is one of 26 states to fully restrict (meaning: no cell use for novice, intermediate and "learner" status drivers; no hand-held or hands-free phone use) "interactive wireless communication" while driving.

~ motorcycle safety: Massachusetts has enacted a universal helmet law requiring both driver and passengers helmet-up, so to speak.

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Big Dig wrongful death lawsuit settled for $9 million

The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority is among the defendants that have agreed to pay a state trooper's family $9 million after he was killed when his motorcycle slammed into Big Dig handrails, the Boston Globe reported.

Our Boston accident attorneys reported earlier this year on our Boston Car Accident Lawyers Blog about the railings. Originally put in place to protect construction and maintenance workers from falling onto the highway, the railing have been involved in the deaths of seven motorists in recent years.

New documents now show that the U.S. Department of Transportation warned the director of the Big Dig that the rails were unsafe as far back as 1992. But the director replied that they were safe.

The trooper was one of seven victims to be killed after striking the railings lining the tunnels; most of the victims were dismembered. One victim lost an arm but survived.

While the trooper's family said they hope the case will result in the removal of the railings, the settlement did not address the safety issue.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation expressed sorrow for the accident and the loss of the trooper's life but referred all other comment to the insurer, AIG.

AIG had no comment.

Other defendants included Big Dig contractors.

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Shelburne Falls fatal motorcycle accident highlights highway hazards for Massachusetts bikers

A two-vehicle Shelburne Falls accident involving a 2005 Ford Freestyle and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle claimed the life of a 60-year-old motorcyclist, The Republican reports.

The Ford Freestyle was struck after turning left onto Route 2 and crossing the path of the Harley, which then hit the vehicle. Boston motorcycle accident attorneys know that as the interest in and ownership of motorcycles continues to tick upward, so has the number of motorcyclists killed and injured each year in traffic accidents continued to climb.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2008, almost 5,300 motorcyclists were killed and 96,000 motorcyclists were injured in traffic accidents nationwide, revealing a decade-long upward trend in both fatal and injury-causing motorcycle accidents. In Massachusetts, 41 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2008. Among the most common accident circumstances - representing 41 percent of fatal accidents involving a motorcycle and motor vehicle - the other vehicle was turning left at the time of the crash. In 2008, left-turn crashes claimed the lives of 985 motorcyclists.

The NHTSA reports that because of their open construction 80 percent of motorcycle-involved traffic accidents result in injury or death. To address this grim statistic, the NHTSA recommends a handful of suggestions to help motorcycles stay safe and uninjured:

~ Obtain proper state licensing and complete a rider-safety training course before taking a motorcycle on the road.

~ Make sure the bike fits the skill, experience and ability of the rider. In this case, size matters!

~ Because motorcycles lack basic structural protection, motorcyclists should always wear protective gear - gloves, goggles, a helmet and boots - that offer additional protection in the event of an accident.

~ Because of their more supple maneuverability, weather conditions can create more hazards for motorcyclists than for other motor vehicles. Before getting on the bike, scan the radar. Be aware of the local weather forecast and road conditions.

~ Perhaps most important: motorcyclists need to ride defensively and ride thinking they are invisible to other motor vehicles. Never ride in a car driver's blind spot.

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Boston scooter accident kills emergency room physician

A local emergency room physician died Friday in a Boston scooter accident, prompting renewed debate over scooter safety in the city, the Boston Herald reported.

Scooters are too often bought or rented as a fun diversion. And they are frequently seen as harmless toys by riders and motorists alike. In fact, they are as dangerous as motorcycles. And statistics show that riders are 18 times more likely to be killed in a Massachusetts motorcycle accident than as a motorist in a passenger car.

"Motor scooters when ridden in the confines of the law are very safe, but people need to be aware of the conditions around them," John Paul, a manager of traffic safety for AAA, told the Herald. "People need to drive defensively - which is probably an understatement. You have to be as aware as possible. You have to be as aware as you can be of everything around you, just like you do in any vehicle."

On Friday, a 50-year-old Brigham and Women's Hospital emergency room doctor and father of three was struck and killed while riding a Zeco scooter on Beacon Street. The accident remains under investigation and no charges have been filed.

While the little bikes can be handy for zipping through traffic, they can also be deadly in the event of an accident. Still, their popularity has skyrocketed in recent years.

Scooter riders should ride defensively, watch for opening car doors, parked cars and driver's blind spots. Motorists should remain cautious around the scooters and treat them as you would a pedestrian because they are just as vulnerable.

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Aerosmith guitarist injured in Massachusetts motorcycle accident

The Middleboro, Massachusetts motorcycle accident that injured Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry is a reminder to motorists to watch for bikes through the height of summer riding season and into the fall.

The Boston Herald reported that the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was rear ended by a 62-year-old retired grandmother of six kids while riding his Italian racing bike. The woman didn't realize who she had hit until told by officers who responded to the scene.

"Of all the people to hit, it had to be a rock star," the woman's daughter-in-law said. The two women had been shopping in Plymouth and were returning home in separate vehicles when the crash happened at Routes 44 and 105.

Perry was not seriously injured and was resting at home, according to the band's manager, who said she did not know what the rocker was doing in Middleboro. The woman was cited for following too closely. A relative said she bumped the bike with her Chevy Malibu when the guitarist's Ducati motorcycle stalled in the intersection while she was riding behind him.

Police said he suffered minor scrapes and was taken by ambulance to Morton Hospital in Taunton.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports a total of 5,290 motorcyclists were killed in 2008 and 96,000 riders were injured. Massachusetts motorcycle accidents killed 41 riders that year.

Statistics show more than half of all motorcycle accidents are the fault of another vehicle on the road. The most common cause of accidents is failure to yield to an oncoming rider while turning or entering the roadway from a parking lot or private drive.

Following too closely, and rear-end collisions, are also among the most common causes of Boston motorcycle accidents.

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