New Jersey motorcycle rides in the fall can be an incredible opportunity to take in the crisp autumn air and enjoy the breathtaking panoramas of vibrant fall foliage. However, not every ride goes smoothly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 6,000 motorcycle fatalities occur each year in the US. In New Jersey, approximately 2,500 motorcycle collisions occur annually. Accidents involving motorcyclists can be particularly devastating. However, there are ways to prevent motorcycle crashes, like being a defensive rider. Below we have outlined tips and strategies for ensuring your ride is safe and according to the law.
Wear Proper Gear
Safety for motorcyclists starts before you even back your bike out of the garage or driveway by dressing in appropriate riding gear. Gloves give a motorcyclist the advantage of a firm grip when it comes to remaining in control of their bike. Boots, protective eyewear, and clothing are also recommended. And lastly, but most importantly, ensure you are protecting your head with a US Department of Transportation-approved helmet.
Keep an Attentive Eye on the Surroundings
One of the best ways to stay safe while riding your motorcycle is to be mindful of your surroundings at all times, aware of other vehicles on the road, pedestrians, wildlife, and any potential hazards that may be present. It is also vital to always wear a helmet and protective gear when riding, as this can help to reduce the severity of injuries in the event of an accident. If you get into an accident, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately and contact a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.
Tip: Wearing reflective gear or using reflective tape can make it more likely for other drivers to recognize motorcyclists, particularly at night.
Traffic laws are important when it comes to motorcycle safety, such as adhering to the speed limit, not weaving in and out of lanes needlessly, using turn signals, stopping at stop signs and red lights, and paying close attention at intersections and onramps. Watching out for other vehicles is especially important when signaling, having their hazards on, or making turns. In New Jersey, riders must follow specific motorcycle laws to maintain road safety. For example, all motorcycles must be registered with the state and have a valid insurance policy. Motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet while riding, and passengers must also wear helmets if they are under the age of 21. It is also illegal to operate a motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Following these tips and obeying traffic laws can help keep you safe while riding your motorbike on New Jersey roads.
Note: Utilize your headlights, even during the day.
Avoid the Deadly Combination of Drinking and Riding
Alcohol impairs your judgment and reaction time. Neurotransmitter disruption and various psychomotor impairments are known side effects of alcohol consumption, making drinking and driving or riding a significant risk to safety and increasing the likelihood of a crash. According to NHTSA and The Motorcycle Safety Foundation, almost half of all motorcyclists killed in crashes were under the influence of alcohol. Numerous studies, reports, and data collections have shown a significant correlation between the level of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and drivers’ and motorcyclists’ abilities to prevent, react, and avoid accidents and road hazards. There is a fivefold increase in crash risk when alcohol is present in the body, and the risk of crashing increases forty-fold with a blood alcohol concentration over 0.05%.
Unfortunately, higher BACs result in nastier crashers, severe injuries, and deadly accidents. According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation report, among all fatal motorcycle accidents involving alcohol, one-fourth occur when motorcyclists run off the road, overturn, or fall from their motorcycles.
The rider is responsible for avoiding traveling by motorcycle when consuming alcohol or any substance that can inhibit reaction time, decision-making, and operating ability. If you are going to a social gathering and alcohol will be served, or whenever you think you might drink, it is imperative to plan an alternate ride home.
Following an accident with an at-fault driver who got behind the wheel after consuming alcohol, an attorney can ensure you receive compensation for all damages. A motorcyclist involved in an accident while under the influence of alcohol should consult with an attorney to discuss their legal options. In addition to helping you understand the charges you face and possible consequences, an attorney can also assist you in constructing the most robust defense possible.
Distracted driving has been rising for drivers, but it can also be a severe issue for motorcycle riders. A rider can get distracted while riding by attempting to control their music, locking their gaze on one object or vehicle for too long, or trying to do anything, such as checking their phone or looking around at the scenery. Distracted driving practices can lead to an accident for the rider or cause accidents for others.
Other drivers who engage in distracted driving are often hazardous to motorcyclists. Below are ways to ensure you remain present and avoid engaging in distracted driving behaviors.
- Keep an eye on the road and remain vigilant.
- Ensure your vision is not compromised. Keep a clean visor and eyewear, and always bypass driving when tired.
- Give your full attention to the road and other vehicles when driving.
- Only stare at the same object or car on the road for a maximum of a few seconds. Scanning the road is part of being a safe motorcyclist and can also save your life. Scanning allows you to identify hazards, plan alternate routes, and increase your time and chances of avoiding accidents, rough patches of roads, debris, construction zones, and more.
As a motorcyclist involved in a distracted driving accident, contacting an attorney is critical as they can help you understand your legal rights and options. An attorney can also help you gather evidence and build a strong case against the at-fault driver.
Know Your Limits
Always ride at your skill level, as riding beyond can lead to losing command of your bike and crashing. Additionally, riding within your abilities will help you maintain control of your motorcycle and avoid obstacles on the road.
Motorcycle maintenance is paramount to motorcycle safety for many reasons. First and foremost, it helps keep your motorcycle in good working condition, meaning that it is less likely that your bike will break down, have mechanical issues, or have mechanical failures while riding and are vulnerable. It also helps to keep your motorcycle clean and free of dirt and grime, which can build up over time and cause internal mechanical dangers. Additionally, regular maintenance can help prevent accidents by keeping your motorcycle in good condition and ensuring its parts are working optimally.
Get Experienced Guidance from Our Motorcycle Accident Attorneys when You Need Compensation
After a motorcycle accident, our skilled motorcycle accident attorneys can help you determine if you are partially at fault and how the other parties or hazards present during the accident may reduce your level of responsibility and increase the chances of receiving compensation for your injury or other damages. Alternatively, If someone else is responsible for your motorcycle accident, you are entitled to full compensation. In either case, it is crucial to contact a lawyer who can determine all associated motorcycle accident damages.
In addition, a superior motorcycle accident lawyer at our Hamilton law office will discuss your case, collect evidence, and present you with the best options for total compensation. Contact an experienced injury attorney at CR Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation if you have been injured in a crash while riding a motorcycle in Lambertville, Titusville, Hopewell, Florence, Edison, South Brunswick, Carteret, Woodbridge, Princeton, Hamilton and the greater Mercer County area.
We can help when you need an aggressive advocate fighting for your just due compensation. Contact us at 609-528-2596 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free and initial consultation with one of the attorneys at Cohen & Riechelson.