(WWLP) – There have been 11 motorcycle deaths in western Massachusetts in 2021 as of Wednesday, July 28.
Data released by Massachusetts Department of Transportation shows there have been four motorcycle deaths since the beginning of July. The total includes 37 motorcycle deaths so far in 2021, an increase of 31 percent from the previous 5 years.
22News spoke with Dennis Bolduc, the owner of Indian Motorcycle in Westfield. His family has been working with motorcycles for the last century. He said he’s not surprised to hear the majority of the crashes are caused by cars and that people need to take precautions on the road.
“I want everyone to share the roads safely cars and motorcycles. We’re all on these roads together. Please respect everybody. Let’s all go home at the end of the day,” said Bolduc.
The following information includes motorcycle deaths of the operation and/or passenger:
Hampden County Motorcycle Fatalities:
- July 23, 12:05 p.m. (Operator unknown) I-91 SOUTH, MM 8.3, Chicopee
- April 10, 10:16 p.m. (Male Operator) 361 Miller St. WEST + Cislak Dr., Ludlow
Hampshire County Motorcycle Fatalities
- June 5, 1:15 a.m. (Male Operator) Pantry Rd. + Mountain Rd., Hatfield
- May 15, 2:09 p.m. (Male Operator) SR-9 + Enoch Sanford Rd., Belchertown
- April 14, 8:22 p.m. (Male Operator) 102 Amherst Rd., Belchertown
Franklin County Motorcycle Fatalities
- June 6, 8:26 p.m. (Male Operator) 153 Millers Falls Rd., Northfield
- May 23, 4:51 p.m. (Male Operator) 97 Cave Hill Rd., Leverett
Berkshire County Motorcycle Fatalities
- June 7, 10:54 a.m. (Male Operator) East St. + Newell St., Pittsfield
- May 20, 11:31 p.m. (Male Operator) 213 Main St., Williamstown
- April 24, 1:00 p.m. (Male Operator) Government Dr., Pittsfield
- April 19, 12:40 p.m. (Male Operator) Curran Memorial Hwy. + South State St., North Adams
Motorcycle Fatalities in Central and Eastern Massachusetts:
- July 24, 2:09 a.m. (Male Operator) 75 Dorchester St., Quincy
- July 15, 7:17 p.m. (Male Operator) 64 Andover St., Danvers
- July 15, 6:07 a.m. (Male Operator) Mill St. + County St., New Bedford
- June 30, 5:33 p.m. (Male Operator) 348 Central St., Franklin
- June 28, 8:46 p.m. (Male Operator) 1317 Washington St., Stoughton
- June 28, 8:46 p.m. (Male Passenger) 1317 Washington St., Stoughton
- June 26, 8:15 p.m. (Male Operator) Fort Ave., south of Winter Island Rd., Salem
- June 22, 12:29 p.m. (Male Operator) I-90 EAST, MM 131.0, Boston
- June 21, 7:58 p.m. (Male Operator) SR-20, east of I-495, Marlborough
- June 19, 4:15 p.m. (Male Operator) East Broadway + N St., Boston
- June 12, 12:00 a.m. (Male Operator) Eastern Ave. + County St., Fall River
- June 6, 12:00 a.m. (Female Passenger) 2344 Acushnet Ave., New Bedford
- June 1, 4:30 p.m. (Male Operator) 53 Catacunemaug Rd., Shirley
- May 16, 5:28 p.m. (Male Operator) Boylston St. + Brunswick St., Lowell
- May 15, 7:34 p.m. (Male Operator) Pleasant St. + Varley Rd., Marlborough
- May 13, 7:14 p.m. (Male Operator) Broadway St. + Fletcher St., Lowell
- May 12, 12:00 a.m. (Male Operator) 70 Grove St., North Brookfield
- May 11, 9:48 p.m. (Male Operator) 50 Main St., Medway
- May 8, 9:00 p.m. (Male Operator) 5 Maple St., Norton
- May 1, 11:43 a.m. (Male Operator) SR-28 + County Rd., Rochester
- April 28, 1:09 a.m. (Male Operator) I-93 NORTH, EXIT 38, Wilmington
- April 22, 12:43 p.m. (Male Operator) Main St. (SR-228) + Middle St. + Short St., Hingham
- April 11, 6:41 a.m. (Male Operator) 12 Huntoon Memorial Hwy., Leicester
- April 2, 8:17 p.m. (Male Operator) Elm St. + Bridge St., Templeton
- March 21, 12:43 p.m. (Male Operator) 94 Main St. + Baker St., Kingston
- March 12, 6:49 p.m. (Male Operator) Arborway + South St., Boston
Information provided by Mass.gov says automobile drivers, not motorcyclists, are responsible for more than two-thirds of car-motorcycle crashes. Many times, drivers don’t see the motorcyclist until it’s too late to avoid a crash.
Advice to Drivers
Keeping these ideas in mind can help prevent accidents.
Remember that motorcycles can be easy to miss.
Motorcycles are already more difficult to spot than cars because of their smaller profiles, and drivers are
conditioned to look for other cars, not motorcyclists.
Traffic, weather, and road conditions require motorcyclists to react differently than drivers, so it is often
difficult to judge and predict when riders may take evasive action.
This means drivers must always be aware of their surroundings. Remember: Check twice, save a life.
Know when crashes are likely to occur.
You are more likely to be involved in an accident with a motorcycle when:
- You are making a left turn in front of a rider.
- A motorcyclist is riding in your blind spot.
- There are hazardous road conditions. Potholes, wet leaves, railroad tracks, and other obstructions may force a motorcyclist to take an action you don’t expect.
- You have an obstructed line of sight. Sport utility vehicles, delivery vans, and large trucks may block motorcyclists from your view.
Be more aware of motorcyclists.
Remember that motorcyclists have the same privileges of other drivers. Be sure to give riders a full lane
of travel, and always keep a close watch for motorcyclists–especially at intersections and on highways.
Anticipate a motorcyclist’s maneuvers. A piece of road debris that poses no threat to a car may be deadly
for a motorcyclist. Predict evasive moves a motorcyclist might take by always being aware of your
surroundings. Also, don’t follow motorcycles too closely. Allow enough room for the motorcyclist to take
Advice to Riders
Keeping these ideas in mind can help prevent accidents with automobile drivers.
Help drivers know you’re there.
Don’t assume you are visible to a driver. As a motorcyclist, it is your responsibility to make your presence
known to drivers. Select and wear an appropriate helmet with retroreflective materials. A DOT-approved
motorcycle helmet is your most valuable piece of protective gear and should be visible to drivers. Wear
bright, contrasting protective clothing. If you wear dark clothing, wear a fluorescent vest.
Use headlights while riding on the highway, and use high beams rather than low beams. Also consider a
Proper lane position is important. It helps drivers see you and protects your riding space. Remember, if
you can see a driver in the side-view mirror, the driver can see you. Don’t “hide” in a driver’s blind spot,
and always signal before making a move. Never weave between lanes.
Remember, there is no one safe place to ride. Use lane positioning to be seen and to provide extra space
for emergency braking situations or avoidance maneuvers. Never share a lane with a car. Drivers may not
expect you alongside their cars and may not be aware of your presence.
Know when crashes are likely to happen.
You are more likely to be involved in an accident when:
A car is making a left turn in front of you.
You are riding in a driver’s blind spot. Drivers may not know you’re there, and they sometimes fail to
check their blind spots before changing lanes or making a turn.
There are hazardous road conditions. Potholes, wet leaves, railroad tracks, and other road obstructions
may force you to make a move a driver does not anticipate.
You are obstructed from the driver’s line of sight. Sport utility vehicles, delivery vans, and large trucks
can block a motorcycle from a driver’s view. This means you may seem to appear suddenly