Report: Motorcycle fatalities in Massachusetts on the rise

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(WWLP) – There were 11 motorcycle fatalities in western Massachusetts in 2021 as of Wednesday, July 28.

Data released by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation shows there have been four motorcycle fatalities since early July. The total so far includes 37 motorcycle fatalities in 2021, an increase of 31% from the previous 5 years.

The following information includes the fatalities of the operation’s and / or passenger’s motorcycles:

Motorcycle Deaths in Hampden County:

  1. July 23, 12:05 p.m. (Operator unknown) I-91 SUD, MM 8.3, Chicopee
  2. April 10, 10:16 p.m. (male operator) 361 Miller Street WEST + Cislak Drive, Ludlow

Motorcycle deaths in Hampshire

  1. June 5, 1:15 a.m. (male operator) Pantry Rd. + Mountain Road, Hatfield
  2. May 15, 2:09 p.m. (male operator) SR-9 + Enoch Sanford Rd., Belchertown
  3. April 14, 8:22 p.m. (male operator) 102 Amherst Rd., Belchertown

Motorcycle deaths in Franklin County

  1. June 6, 8:26 p.m. (male operator) 153 Millers Falls Rd., Northfield
  2. May 23, 4:51 p.m. (male operator) 97 Cave Hill Road, Leverett

Motorcycle deaths in the county of Berkshire

  1. June 7, 10:54 a.m. (male operator) East St. + Newell St., Pittsfield
  2. May 20, 11:31 p.m. (male operator) 213 Main Street, Williamstown
  3. April 24, 1:00 p.m. (male operator) Government Dr., Pittsfield
  4. April 19, 12:40 p.m. (male operator) Curran Memorial Hwy. + South State Street, North Adams

Fatal Motorcycle Accidents in Central and Eastern Massachusetts:

  1. July 24, 2:09 am (male operator) 75 Dorchester St., Quincy
  2. July 15, 7:17 p.m. (male operator) 64 Andover St., Danvers
  3. July 15, 6:07 am (male operator) Mill St. + County St., New Bedford
  4. June 30, 5:33 p.m. (male operator) 348 Central St., Franklin
  5. June 28, 8:46 p.m. (male operator) 1317 Washington St., Stoughton
  6. June 28, 8:46 p.m. (male passenger) 1317 Washington St., Stoughton
  7. June 26, 8:15 p.m. (male operator) Fort Ave., south of Winter Island Rd., Salem
  8. June 22, 12:29 p.m. (male operator) I-90 EAST, MM 131.0, Boston
  9. June 21, 7:58 p.m. (male operator) SR-20, east of I-495, Marlborough
  10. June 19, 4:15 p.m. (male operator) East Broadway + N St., Boston
  11. June 12, 12:00 a.m. (male operator) Eastern Ave. + County St., Fall River
  12. June 6, midnight (passenger) 2344 Acushnet Ave., New Bedford
  13. June 1 4:30 p.m. (male operator) 53 Catacunemaug Rd., Shirley
  14. May 16, 5:28 p.m. (male operator) Boylston St. + Brunswick St., Lowell
  15. May 15, 7:34 p.m. (male operator) Pleasant St. + Varley Rd., Marlborough
  16. May 13, 7:14 p.m. (male operator) Broadway St. + Fletcher St., Lowell
  17. May 12 at midnight (male operator) 70 Grove Street, North Brookfield
  18. May 11, 9:48 p.m. (male operator) 50 Main Street, Medway
  19. May 8, 9 p.m. (male operator) 5 Maple Street, Norton
  20. May 1, 11:43 a.m. (male operator) SR-28 + County Rd., Rochester
  21. April 28, 1:09 am (male operator) I-93 NORTH, EXIT 38, Wilmington
  22. April 22, 12:43 p.m. (male operator) Main St. (SR-228) + Middle St. + Short St., Hingham
  23. April 11, 6:41 a.m. (male operator) 12 Huntoon Memorial Hwy., Leicester
  24. April 2, 8:17 p.m. (male operator) Elm St. + Bridge St., Templeton
  25. March 21, 12:43 p.m. (male operator) 94 Main Street + Baker Street, Kingston
  26. March 12, 6:49 p.m. (male operator) Arborway + South St., Boston

Information provided by Mass.gov indicates that motorists, not motorcyclists, are responsible for more than two-thirds of car-motorcycle accidents. Often, drivers only see the motorcyclist when it is too late to avoid an accident.

Tips for drivers

Keeping these ideas in mind can help prevent accidents.

Remember, motorcycles can be easy to miss.

Motorcycles are already harder to spot than cars due to their smaller profiles, and drivers are
conditioned to look for other cars, not motorcyclists.

Traffic, weather and road conditions force motorcyclists to react differently from drivers, so it is often
difficult to judge and predict when runners can take evasive action.

This means that drivers should always be aware of their surroundings. Remember: double check, save a life.

Know when accidents are likely to happen.

You are more likely to be involved in an accident with a motorcycle when:

  • You make a left turn in front of a biker.
  • A motorcyclist is riding in your blind spot.
  • There are dangerous road conditions. Potholes, wet leaves, train tracks, and other obstacles can force a motorcyclist to do an action you don’t expect.
  • You have an obstructed line of sight. Sport utility vehicles, delivery vans and large trucks can block the view of motorcyclists.

Beware of motorcyclists more.

Remember that motorcyclists have the same privileges as other drivers. Make sure you give runners a full route
movements and always keep a close watch on motorcyclists, especially at intersections and on highways.
Anticipate the maneuvers of a biker. A piece of road debris that poses no threat to a car can be fatal
for a biker. Anticipate the avoidance movements that a motorcyclist might take while always being aware of your
surroundings. Also, don’t follow the motorcycles too closely. Leave enough room for the rider to take
evasive actions.

Advice to riders

Keeping these ideas in mind can help prevent accidents with motorists.

Help drivers know you’re there.

Don’t assume you are visible to a driver. As a biker it is your responsibility to make your presence
known to drivers. Choose and wear an appropriate helmet with retro-reflective materials. A DOT-approved
The motorcycle helmet is your most valuable protective equipment and should be visible to riders. Carry
bright and contrasting protective clothing. If you wear dark clothes, wear a fluorescent vest.

Use headlights when driving on the freeway and use high beams instead of low beams. Also consider a
modulating headlight.

A good position on the track is important. It helps drivers see you and protects your driving space. Remember, if
you can see a driver in the side mirror, the driver can see you. Do not “hide” in the blind spot of a driver,
and always signal before making a move. Never weave between the tracks.

Remember, there is no safe place to ride. Use in-lane positioning to be seen and to provide additional space
for emergency braking situations or evasive maneuvers. Never share a lane with a car. Drivers cannot
waiting for you next to their cars and may not be aware of your presence.

Know when accidents are likely to happen.

You are more likely to be involved in an accident when:

A car turns left in front of you.

You are driving in a driver’s blind spot. Drivers may not know you are there, and sometimes they cannot
check their blind spots before changing lanes or turning.

There are dangerous road conditions. Potholes, wet leaves, railroad tracks and other road obstacles
may force you to make a gesture that a driver does not anticipate.

You are obstructed by the driver’s field of vision. Sport utility vehicles, delivery vans and large trucks
can block a motorcycle from the driver’s point of view. This means that you may seem to appear suddenly


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