Motorcycle Safety in New Jersey
Whether you’re an experienced or new rider, safety is paramount for motorcyclists. Motorcyclists know that their mode of transportation presents a heightened risk of danger. In an accident, riders are nearly 30 times more likely to succumb to a fatality than automobile drivers and passengers. But for those who love it, there’s nothing like the feeling of the open road on a bike. And when following good safety practices, there’s no reason motorcyclists can’t continue to enjoy their passion.
Why Bikers Ride
Unless you’ve ridden, it’s hard to describe. Motorcyclists enjoy a feeling of freedom, exhilaration and pure pleasure as they cruise down the roadways.
Motorcycles are an economical choice too. Motorcycle owners enjoy better fuel economy than other motorists, and their bikes are generally less expensive to service and maintain. For these and many other reasons, motorcyclists choose this greener, more enjoyable manner of getting from point A to point B, despite the potential hazards.
Responsible riding and safety precautions can go a long way when you’re on the road. But, it’s important to be aware of the many safety concerns that come with this mode of transportation.
Motorcycle Safety Concerns
Between 2010 and 2014, approximately 13,000 motorcyclists were involved in an accident in NJ. Motorcyclists are five times more likely to sustain injury in an accident than automobile drivers and passengers. Motorcycles aren’t necessarily involved in more crashes than other vehicles, but when they are the consequences are typically more severe.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The top causes for motorcycle crashes are speed, alcohol and driver distraction. But the nature of motorcycles raises safety concerns that aren’t common to cars, trucks and SUVs.
- Speeding – Excessive speed contributes to almost one-third of all motorcycle accident fatalities.
- Alcohol – 2015 statistics identified alcohol as a contributing factor in 27 percent of motorcycle crashes that resulted in death.
- Driver inattention – Nearly a quarter of these types of fatalities involved driver distraction.
- Size – When a motorcycle accident involves another vehicle, it’s typically due to the other driver’s failure to notice the motorcycle, often because of its smaller size. This is a frequent issue with cars turning and changing lanes.
- Lane splitting – Motorcyclists place themselves in heightened danger when they drive between lanes of motor vehicles that are stopped or moving.
- Road hazards – Potholes, slick roads, uneven lanes, road debris and other road hazards are more dangerous for motorcycles due to their less stable nature and size.
Common Motorcycle Injuries
Unlike a car, a motorcycle provides no protection in a crash. This is one of the reasons that helmets are so strongly advocated. New Jersey law requires motorcyclists to wear helmets approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
The following are some fairly common motorcycle accident injuries:
- Head Injury / Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Neck Injury
- Leg Injury
- Eye Damage
- Road Rash
- Torn Muscles
Unfortunately, no safety measures are foolproof, especially when other parties behave negligently. If another motorist causes you injury on your motorcycle, you have rights. Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer to discuss your case and how you may be able to pursue compensation.