Motorcycle fatalities have been increasing over the past two decades. This year, drivers are being asked for more awareness and courtesy when passing by those on bikes.

May 17, 2015 10:21 PM

NH motorcyclists ask drivers for awareness, courtesy

LACONIA - After about 6 motorcycle crashes were reported across the state on Sunday, bikers are asking drivers to try to be a bit more understanding when it comes to sharing the road.

“They’re in a car having a good time, we’re on our bikes having a good time," said Joseph Dakin, who drove his motorcycle to Weirs Beach on Sunday. "They need to have more people out here watching out for bikers.”

Over the past 20 years – motorcycle fatalities have been on the rise across the U.S.

In the Granite State – bikers don’t have to wear helmets under the law. And, of course, there’s no seat belts. Thus, the risks of serious injury - or death - are increased dramatically.

Police tell NH1 that the key to riding safely is keeping a good distance, no matter what you're driving. Often, crashes are caused by driving too close to others.

"Not leaving a big enough safety zone. A motorcycle only has two wheels, and they're not as easy to see as the cars," said Det. Sgt. Thomas Swett of the Laconia Police Dept.

Bikers say it’s also about educating yourself about sharing the road – especially for those who have never driven a bike before.

"They don’t know the rules for bikes, they only know the rules for a car," said Dakin. "So they need to read up on a motorcycle so they can see what other people go through to ride a bike. It takes a lot to get your license.”

Being vigilant and using senses to see and hear is key as well. Motorcycles are much more difficult to see, and can be hidden in blind spots easily. And not all are as loud as others, which can make it difficult for drivers to know if they're nearby.

“People don’t realize the fatalities that happen because of not having a loud noise," said Brenda Tousignent, who said she was concerned about biker safety.

Tousignent said she also hopes drivers will take an extra look when behind the wheel to avoid any collisions.


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