Motorcycle Safety

Motorcycle Safety

Motorcycle riders continue to be overrepresented in fatal traffic crashes.1 In 2020, there were 5,579 motorcyclist deaths in the United States, 14% of all traffic fatalities.1 This is the highest number of motorcyclists killed since the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) started in 1975.2 In New Hampshire there were 21 total fatalities in 2020.3 To keep everyone safe, NHTSA is encouraging drivers and motorcyclists to share the road and be alert, and reminding motorcyclists to make themselves visible and to always use DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets, and to never drive impaired.

New Hampshire Crash Stats

did you know - at one time or another everyone is a pedestrianAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a motorcycle crash is a complex event involving the interaction of human, vehicle, and environmental factors.1 Per NHTSA the vehicle miles traveled in 2020, motorcyclists were about 28 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and were 4 times more likely to be injured.1 Being a safe motorcyclist takes balance, coordination, and good judgment.1

You can learn these tools by taking a motorcycle rider training program at the Division Motor Vehicle (DMV).
To sign up for a course or learn more please visit the New Hampshire DMV website.

download motorcycle safety tips

did you hear - motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes Of the motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes in 2020, 36% were riding without valid motorcycle licenses. 1

Here are some tips to become road ready:

  • Make sure you are properly licensed: although motorcycle licensing regulations vary, all states require a motor cycle license endorsement to supplement your automobile driver’s license.
  • Practice operating your motorcycle: due to the given fact that all motorcycles vary in handling and responsiveness, it is recommended to take time to get accustomed to the feel of a new or unfamiliar motorcycle by riding it in a controlled area such as an empty parking lot. Another recommendation to knowing how to handle your motorcycle in a variety of condition such as inclement weather or encountering road hazards such as slick roads, potholes, and road debris.
  • Before Every ride: Be sure to check your motorcycle’s tire pressure and tread depth, hand and foot brakes, headlights and signal indicators, and fluid levels before you ride. In addition check underneath your motorcycle for signs of oil or gas leaks. If you are carrying any cargo be sure to check that everything is secure and the load is balances.
  • helmet dotProtect your brain by utilizing a motorcycle helmet that meets U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) 218. Look for the DOT symbol on the outside back of the helmet. Snell and ANSI labels located inside the helmet also show that the helmet meets the standards of those private, non-profit organizations. Learn more about choosing the right helmet.


  • Be sure to be mount the motorcycle only after the engine has started
  • Sit as far forward as possible, directly behind the driver
  • Keep both feet on the foot rests at all times, even when the motorcycle is stopped
  • Keep your legs and feet away from the muffler
  • Hold on firmly to the driver waist, hips, or belt
  • Keep movement to a minimum
  • Lean at the same time and in the same direction as the driver.
  • Allow the driver to let you know when it is safe to dismount the motorcycle
To learn more about motorcycle safety visit the NHTSA website

1 National Highway Safety Administration. Motorcycle Safety.
2 National Highway Safety Administration. Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
3 National Highway Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts.