Throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island the majority of motorcycle accident deaths are caused by collisions with other vehicles due to factors like distracted driving and drunk/drugged drivers. Due to their unprotected environment, a motorcycle rider is far more likely to suffer serious catastrophic injury or wrongful death when involved in an accident. These accidents don’t only happen in high traffic highway areas like Insterstate-195 through New Bedford, Fall River and Providence, but also out on more open roads like historic Route 6 through Dartmouth and the Cape or out on I-295 through Smithfield, Lincoln and Attleboro. Whether you’re you’re heading out for a day trip or just a Sunday cruise, it’s good to know the helmet laws in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Protect Your Head
Head injuries are the leading cause of motorcycle accident related deaths. When you look at the statistics it really doesn’t make much sense to forgo wearing a helmet. Riding safe begins with the right safety equipment. It’s always advisable to wear your helmet regardless of which state you’re riding in, but the laws do vary from state to state.
- Motorcycle Helmet Law in Massachusetts – Title XIV. Public Ways and Works Chapter 90. Motor Vehicles and Aircraft… Section 7 states: “Every person operating a motorcycle or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle or in a sidecar attached to a motorcycle shall wear protective head gear conforming with such minimum standards of construction and performance as the registrar may prescribe, and no person operating a motorcycle shall permit any other person to ride as a passenger on such motorcycle or in a sidecar attached to such motorcycle unless such passenger is wearing such protective head gear,. . .”
- Motorcycle Helmet Law in Rhode Island – § 31-10.1-4 Required equipment states: “Any operator under the age of twenty-one (21) shall wear a helmet of a type approved by the administrator of motor vehicles. In addition, all new operators, regardless of age, shall be required, for a period of one year from the date of issuance of the first license pursuant to wear a helmet of a type approved by said administrator…”
Here Are Some Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There’s no such thing as a fender-bender for a motorcyclist. As operators of a motor vehicles we all have a responsibility to help ensure the safety of those with whom we share the highways, rural roads, and city streets. Here in Southern New England the roads are filled with bikers most of the year, so we need to avoid distracted driving and ALWAYS look at least twice before changing lanes or making a turn. It could save a life. These are some common motorcycle accident scenarios to avoid.
- Head-On Collisions – In the vast majority of motorcycle accidents, the car strikes the motorcycle from the front. These accidents often happen when a distracted driver fails to see the biker making a left turn at an intersection of onto a street. Head-on collisions between a car and motorcycle are all too common and often fatal to the motorcyclist.
- Cars Making Left-Hand Turns – This dangerous situation for motorcyclists occurs when a car is making a left-hand turn at an intersection or onto a street. The driver of the car is likely trying to time things with the vehicles on both sides of the street and fails to see the smaller profile of the motorcycle. These collisions account for more than a third of all accidents involving a motorcycle and car.
- Road Hazards – Motorcycles face higher dangers from road hazards than do cars and other vehicles. Things like potholes, dead animals, slick pavement conditions, uneven heights between lanes, wet leaves and other irregularities or unexpected objects in the road can pose a serious safety threat to motorcycles. Many motorcycle accidents are caused when a biker needs to quickly avoid a road hazard and loses balance or collides with another vehicle.
D+Z: Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorneys In Massachusetts & Rhode Island
If you or a family member have been left with injuries after a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence of a distracted driver, please contact us to speak with an experienced attorney. Dussault & Zatir P.C. has lawyers on call at +1-800-542-4LAW to answer your personal injury questions. With offices in New Bedford, Fall River and Taunton, Massachusetts, as well as an office in Providence, Rhode Island, if you’ve been injured, our lawyers are here to fight for you.
*The above is not to be considered as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws which apply may differ from state to state.
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