Motorcycle safety is essential for reducing the risks and dangers of motorcycling. Motorcycle safety encompasses road design, traffic rules, rider training, and the prevailing attitudes toward motorcyclists and other road users.
Motorcyclists are typically overrepresented in fatal traffic crashes. For example, in 2019, motorcycle deaths accounted for 14 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths and were more than double the number of deaths compared to 1997.
Our motorcycle accident attorneys urge motorcyclists to safely share the road, be aware of their surroundings, wear visible DOT-compliant motorcycle accessories, and always ride sober. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident in New Jersey, call Goldstein & Goldstein for a free consultation today.
Motorcycle Crash Statistics
When motorcycles are involved in an accident, their riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle. This makes New Jersey motorcyclists more likely to be injured or killed, especially if involved in an accident with another vehicle. The U.S. federal government estimates that the number of motorcycle deaths per mile traveled in 2018 was nearly 27 times the number of car deaths.
Generally, motorcycles have higher rates of injuries and fatalities because cars provide more effective crash protection. For automobiles, 31% of crashes result in injury, but only 0.29% of accidents are fatal. For motorcycles, 78.3% of reported crashes result in injury, and 4.24% of crashes are fatal.
Sixty-three percent of motorcyclist deaths in 2019 occurred during May to September and peaked around August. If you or someone you love has been involved in a motorcycle accident in New Jersey, contact Goldstein & Goldstein to get help from experienced personal injury attorneys.
Motorcyclist Safety Tips
Riding a motorcycle can be exhilarating and fun, but motorcycling can also be dangerous. Safe motorcycling takes balance, coordination, and good judgment. Here are a few more safety tips that could help prevent motorcycle accidents and deaths in New Jersey:
Wear a Helmet
Motorcycle crash deaths can be expensive and preventable. Motorcycle experts state that one of the most effective ways to save lives and save money is with a universal helmet law.
Helmets saved an estimated 1,859 lives in 2016, and if all motorcyclists had worn helmets in 2016, 802 more riders could have been saved.
Always wear a helmet that meets the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. Look for the DOT symbol on the outside back of the helmet.
Get Your New Jersey Motorcycle License
Riding a motorcycle requires certain skills and knowledge. All states require a motorcycle license endorsement to supplement your automobile driver’s license. To receive the proper endorsement in New Jersey, you’ll need to pass written and on-cycle skills tests administered by the NJ MVC.
Completing an NJ Motorcycle Safety Education Program (MSEP) Basic Rider Course is a good way to get proper instruction and the experience necessary to begin your motorcycle journey or brush up on your skills.
Practice Your Motorcycle Skills
Motorcycles vary in responsiveness, so be sure to take the time to get accustomed to an unfamiliar motorcycle. Take it to a controlled area and test it out. Once you feel comfortable with your bike, you can take it into traffic.
You must know how to handle your motorcycle in all sorts of conditions like inclement weather or when you encounter road hazards like potholes and road debris.
Each time before you ride, experts suggest checking the following:
- Tire pressure
- Tread depth
- Hand and foot brakes
- Headlights and signal indicators
- Fluid levels before you ride
- Signs of oil or gas leaks
- Secure and balance your cargo load on the cycle and adjust the suspension and tire pressure to accommodate the extra weight
Wear Appropriate Motorcycle Attire
Covering your arms and legs completely when riding a motorcycle— ideally with leather or heavy denim— can help protect you from scrapes and falls.
Always wear boots or shoes that cover your ankles. Gloves can give you a better grip and help protect your hands in the event of a crash. Wearing bright and reflective materials can make you more visible to other vehicle drivers.
Ride Alcohol and Drug-Free
Alcohol and drugs, even prescription medications, can affect your ability to ride. These substances may alter your balance, alertness, reaction speed, judgment, coordination, control, and ability to shift gears.
You can’t predict what other travelers are going to do, therefore, make sure you are alcohol and drug-free when you get on your motorcycle so that you can reduce your risks. If you require an experienced motorcycle accident attorney, contact Goldstein & Goldstein for a free consultation today.