Although motorcycles only have two wheels instead of four, they are vehicles with the same road rights and benefits as any motor vehicle on the road. A national campaign has been put into place to address motorists and motorcyclists to safely ‘share the road’ with one another. Since motorcycles are not always easy to see, they are reminded to make sure they are visible to other motorists.
A law requires riders to complete (and pass) the proper training and courses in order to obtain their motorcycle license just like a motorist driving a car, bus, etc. Another law motorcyclists MUST abide by (if applicable within the state) is the Helmet Law. Currently, Massachusetts is the ONLY New England state that requires ALL motorcyclists to wear a helmet while riding. Vermont requires riders 20 years and younger to wear a helmet; Maine and Connecticut riders 17 years and younger must abide by this law. New Hampshire however, does not require motorcyclists to wear helmets. Due to the Helmet Law, helmet use has increased from 48% in 2005 to 67% in 2009. Helmets saved almost 1900 motorcyclists’ lives in 2008. Some riders may be concerned that a helmet may interfere with their ability to see and hear other motorists; studies have proven this statement to be false.
Drunk driving is not only a major concern for motorists, but also for motorcycle riders. Alcohol affects the rider’s balance and coordination, the most important skills needed to ride. Drunk “riding” plays a major role in the percentage of motorcycle-related fatalities. Statistics show that the total of intoxicated rider fatalities is greater than those of alcohol related driver fatalities. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) URGES ALL motorcycle riders to ALWAYS ride ‘smart and sober’.