Motorcycle accidents increasing nationwide

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – There’s been several motorcycle accidents across the state over the past month, including one in Agawam on Saturday that sent two people to the hospital.

22News is working for you by taking a closer look at an increase in motorcycle crashes nationwide.

There’s been at least four motorcycle crashes in western Massachusetts over the past two weeks. On Saturday, two people were rushed to the hospital after their motorcycle collided with a car on North Street in Agawam. They’re expected to survive, but it’s just another example of how dangerous motorcycle accidents can be.

A motorcyclist was taken to the hospital on Friday following a crash on Cheapside Bridge in Deerfield, and two weeks ago, three people were killed in separate motorcycle accidents in Springfield and Lynn, one of those victims was an off-duty police officer.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, motorcycle crashes account for nearly 15 percent of roadway deaths. Last year, 5-thousand people were killed in motorcycle accidents, a 10 percent increase from 2014.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says motorcycles aren’t as stable as cars, which means riders are more likely to get injured in an accident than someone driving a car or truck.

In Massachusetts, motorcyclists are required to wear helmets, a precaution the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say has saved more than 16-thousand lives since 2013. There are also steps drivers can take to keep motorcyclists safe.

  • Keep in mind when a motorcycle’s slowing down, you might not always see a brake light. Motorcyclists can downshift to slow down, which doesn’t set off the brake light.
  • It’s also important to keep a safe distance between you a motorcycle in front of you. Motorcycles often look like they’re farther away than a car, at the same distance.
  • If you see a turn signal, make sure the motorcyclist is actually taking a turn. The turn signal on many motorcycles doesn’t shut off automatically, which means the blinker might stay on after a rider already switched lanes.

Safety experts say staying aware of your surroundings is the best way to prevent motorcycle accidents.

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