Warmer weather means motorcycles are back on the road

Hampshire County

Now that the warmer weather is almost here, you’ll start to see more motorcycles out on the roads. 

There are more than 160,000 registered motorcycles in Massachusetts and odds are, you’re going to see at least one or two this summer. 

When spring is in the air, motorcycles are everywhere and it’s important to know the rules of the road to help prevent any accidents because as riders know, it can be unpredictable. 

“It’s a dangerous sport there’s no doubt about it,” said one local driver. 

In 2017, more than 5,000 motorcycle riders and passengers died in crashes. Deaths among motorcycle riders and passengers have more than doubled in number since 1997. 

“Just keep your eyes out,” said Robert Thompson, general manager at Harley Davidson in Southampton. “Get off the phone, make sure you’re looking both ways. They are out there, and you don’t know they are there until there is a collision and then it’s a bad day.” 

It might sound like common sense, but a helmet is the most important equipment a biker can use and they should be DOT approved.  

In 2017, nearly 2,000 riders who died were not wearing a helmet.   

Helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries. 

In Massachusetts, well, you’re required to wear one. 

Scott Chmiel has been riding for decades. The most common thing he sees on the roads is distracted driving.

“People are constantly distracted with texting and driving,” said Chmiel. “A lot of people lose their lives every year because of it. I constantly check my mirrors, check my blind spots because I don’t want to be hit. I don’t want someone else to be hit.” 

If you’re caught not wearing a helmet in Massachusetts, you will be fined.

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