Why Are Motorcycle Riders at Risk in Boston?

June 5, 2021

Meta Description: While no one is immune to the hazards on the road, motorcyclists face an inflated level of danger, and in this article, we’ll explain why that is the case.

With the state seeing more people getting to hit the open road again, it’s only natural that we’ll see more motorcycle riders taking advantage of their freedom. Unfortunately, we stand to see a lot of accidents as well. The NHTSA notes that motorcycle riders are more likely to die in an accident than someone in a car. Traffic fatalities for bikers have been steadily on the rise. When a biker sets off on a journey, they are risking motorcycle injuries. Many would assume that this risk is no more than one would encounter when leaving the house regularly. However, some situations apply specifically to bikers. Motorcycle safety should be the biker’s number-one concern.

Typical Issues Motorcycle Riders Encounter in Boston

Boston is a bustling city. As with any city, it presents several hazards to bikers and drivers alike. Motorcycle riders have to face these issues as they take their bike through the city, driving as if nothing can stop them. Sometimes these hazards come in the form of something natural. At other times, it may be due to another driver in a passenger vehicle they share the road with. However, the majority of times, by taking the proper safety precautions, a biker can avoid falling victim to hazards. Even if the biker is not the at-fault driver, they can hope to prevent property damage as well as injury.

Unsafe Lane Changes

When you’re a biker, you know innately that your vehicle is a lot smaller than others. This difference in size is usually a benefit, allowing the biker to weave in and out of traffic easily. Unfortunately, the small size can also work against the motorcycle rider. Most larger vehicles have blind spots. These areas are shadowed from the driver’s field of view. If a motorcyclist makes it into these positions during their trek, the driver of a car won’t see them, and if an accident does happen, the liability will fall upon the biker. The motorcycle rider can take precautions by staying a certain distance away from the automobile at all times. The larger the vehicle, the more prominent the blind spot.


The roads within Boston have speed limits that cater to all vehicles. Unfortunately, getting caught up in the thrill of a ride might cause a biker to lose their inhibitions. Speeding can lead to severe injury or even death if a biker gets into an accident. Accidents due to speeding typically come from the biker not being able to control the motorcycle at such a high speed. They veer off-course and could potentially cause damage to themselves, pedestrians, or other drivers and their passengers.

Riding Under the Influence of a Substance

Bikers have a terrible reputation when it comes to substance use. Drugs or alcohol are associated with bikers to a massive extent. While it’s common for a casual motorcyclist to have a few beers before hitting the road, even this practice can be dangerous. When you’re under the influence of alcohol or other substances, your reaction time may be impaired. Even drinking a little can mean the difference between noticing something in time to stop and being unable to spot it. Those fractions of a second could be crucial to saving your life in motorcycle accidents.

Thousands of motorcycle deaths occur throughout the USA, every year, be it from head-on collisions, single-vehicle collisions, falling off the rides, and so on. A little precaution, and learning to refuse a drink can be a lifesaver for you.

Inexperienced Drivers

A biker can be responsible for their own actions, but sometimes, the problems that occur happen because of other people. Inexperienced drivers on the roads can lead to accidents simply because they don’t know to ho react in a situation. In these cases, the biker can maintain a safe distance and notice cues that the driver may not be that experienced. For a biker, getting licensed and practicing is the only way to remain confident of their experience. The road can be unpredictable. The more a biker practices, the better armed they’ll be to deal with potential motorcycle accidents.

Motorcycle Defects

Manufacturer defects occur within the machine when they’re built. These defects aren’t typical, but they do occur from time to time. More common are mechanical defects because of poor maintenance. Each part of a motorcycle needs to be in top working order to respond to the rider. Typically, before a ride, a biker will take a once-over of the mechanical systems. Telltale signs of wear and tear or damage to the system should be addressed before jumping on the bike. Obvious signs like pools of fluid or clouds of smoke from the exhaust suggest the biker perform maintenance on the vehicle. If the cycle has been down for a while, it’s best to go over the systems before attempting to ride it on Boston’s crowded streets.

Road Hazards

Boston doesn’t have great roads. Any biker or driver will have at least one horror story about a road hazard that almost caused a motor vehicle accident. In some locales, the damage is far more prevalent than in others. A road hazard could potentially lead to a biker losing control of their vehicle and running into something or someone. Potholes, loose gravel, and even uneven road surfaces can all play their part in forcing a biker off the road and into another vehicle. Because bikes are so dependent on balance, all it takes is the smallest of problems to affect them. Bikers would do well to slow down on stretches of road that aren’t up to scratch so that they have more time to react to hazards.

Unsafe Lane Splitting

Any motorcycle accident attorney will tell you that within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, lane splitting is illegal. Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist takes their vehicle between two stopped lanes of traffic. In these situations, the cyclist is taking a chance that no one will try to open a  door or pull out from their lane when the traffic starts to flow. If a biker attempts to lane-split in Boston, they might hurt themselves. What’s more, any accidents caused while lane-splitting will see the biker held responsibly.

Left-Turn Accidents

Left-turn accidents can be terrible to behold. They occur when a biker is making a left-turn, but oncoming motorists overlook their actions, failing to slow down or stop. Motorcyclists can be heavily injured or even killed in these accidents. To lower the chances of being involved in such a motorcycle collision, you may need to pay close attention to oncoming traffic. Slowing down before making your turn also gives you time to signal appropriately and ensure drivers notice your intentions.

Motorcycle Insurance Concerns

Motorcyclists usually take out motorcycle insurance to help them deal with crashes. Unfortunately, their motorcycle policies may not cover compensation for every eventuality. While some motorcycle policies may cover the victims’ medical bills (for traumatic brain injuries and other damages), others might not. The type of compensation that the insurance company is will discuss depends on the type of motorcycle insurance policies they offer. Experienced riders may be able to get a discount on their premiums. Depending on the biker’s crash history, the financial risk of covering the biker changes. Their motorcycle coverage rates may change to reflect this.

Economic Losses Due to Motorcycle Crashes

The Government Accounting Office (GAO) mentions that in 2010, motorcycle crashes cost a total of $16 billion cumulatively. These damages include medical bills, lost wages, and insurance costs, among other things. As a response to this massive volume, the GAO urged the NHTSA to improve its safety outreach policies. The GAO stated that an increase in the use of motorcycle helmets, safety education, and police awareness of motorcyclists would increase protection and lower motorcycle accidents in the future. The NHTSA has also put out information to help bikers improve their visibility (especially in the winter) while they use the roads.

In the event of a crash, you can seek a motorcycle accident lawyer to help them develop a case and win you a fair settlement under the auto insurance policies of the concerned insurance provider, but in the end, a little precaution goes a long way in saving you lots of trouble. Contact Michael Kelly today!

Drive safe for yourself and your family!

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Michael D. Kelly has a diverse background that provides a breadth of legal knowledge that he draws upon in serving his clients. Kelly compiled an excellent academic record during his three years at New England Law in Boston.