Hightstown NJ Motorcycle Accident Weather Conditions Lawyers
Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorneys with Offices in Hamilton and Pennington, New Jersey
Motorcyclists are already at great risk of serious motorcycle accidents and catastrophic injuries. This risk is even greater when a rider operates their bike in inclement weather conditions. In fact, adverse weather conditions are a major cause of motorcycle accidents. For example, slick roads can make it difficult for the motorcyclist to maintain control of the bike. Additionally, motorcycles are more vulnerable to weather conditions than other vehicles. Unlike drivers of cars and trucks, motorcyclists are not always shielded against dangerous weather elements such as snow or rain.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found over 5,500 motorcycle fatalities in 2020 alone, up over 10% from 2019. Furthermore, the country witnessed another 10% increase in US motorcycle fatalities in 2021 compared to 2020 (NHTSA). Although summer is deemed the most dangerous time of the year for motorcyclists due to increased activity, another danger lurks continuously: menacing weather conditions. Motorcyclists’ driving conditions and collision rates are affected by weather changes, which often increase fatalities.
Cohen & Riechelson is a highly respected law firm with a tradition of excellence in New Jersey. Our personal injury lawyers have more than 50 years of experience representing motorcycle accident victims in Hightstown, Hamilton, Robbinsville, West Windsor, Trenton, Lawrence, and everywhere else in Mercer County. We provide personalized attention to each and every client. You can count on us to keep you informed every step of the way so that you always know exactly what is happening with your motorcycle accident case. Call CR now at (609) 528-2596 to discuss your potential claim with an experienced lawyer. Let us investigate and determine your claim’s viability and work to recover motorcycle accident compensation for you and your family.
Weather Factors in New Jersey Motorcycle Crashes
Mother nature is a force better left unchallenged and respected, especially when driving on two wheels, vulnerable to the elements, with other everyday factors like traffic lights, crosswalks, pedestrians, and highway driving included. In addition, distracted drivers are on the rise in New Jersey, and unfortunately, rain or shine, sleet, or hail, are still present on our roadways. How can weather impact a New Jersey Motorcyclist or cause a wreck?
Our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers explain and examine how weather can affect riders, the most common types of motorcycle collisions and injuries, basic motorcyclist weather-related riding safety tips, and potential lawsuits arising from motorcycle accidents triggered by weather. We handle these claims on behalf of injured motorcycle accident victims and families impacted by motorcycle accident deaths in Mercer County and other New Jersey communities. Call us today for a free case evaluation.
Foggy Conditions Cause Crashes on Motorcycles
Usually, fog is formed when the air cools in contact with the roadway and frequently develops in the early morning and the evening but can also show up unexpectedly due to other environmental factors. The trouble with fog and motorcyclists is a decrease in visibility which causes a shorter window for reaction time to other hazards like potholes, debris, deer, pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles.
1. It may be tempting to use high beams; however, the light will reflect off of the fog, further worsening visibility. Alternatively, using low-beam lamps is fine. The best option on a motorcycle (if equipped) is fog lights.
2. If possible, engage your hazard light to alert other drivers who may also be struggling with visibility or not paying attention to your presence on the road.
3. Practice safe, cautious, and undistracted driving measures during foggy or otherwise dangerous and abnormal driving conditions.
Rain Causes Motorcycle Accident Injuries in Mercer County NJ
As with fog, rain can obstruct your driving, and the potential for flash flooding comes with heavy rains in New Jersey. Even in smaller amounts, rain on the highway can result in hydroplaning vehicles and motorbikes. Motorcycles can quickly lose control, even when only lightly nudged by a car or SUV at slow or fast speeds, resulting in critical injuries and even fatalities. Keep in mind nearly a third of all motorcycle accidents occur in wet conditions.
No matter how safe a motorcyclist is when operating their bike, they can still find themselves unexpectedly exposed to falling rain and wet road conditions. For example, rain can create puddles on the roadway. If a motorcyclist drives through one of these puddles, they could lose control of their bike and skid off the road.
Rain can also obscure a motorcyclist’s vision while they are driving. If the motorcyclist can’t see the road ahead of them, they might not be able to avoid road hazards such as potholes, puddles, or railroad tracks. Fog poses similar risks because motorcycle riders may suffer from reduced visibility.
1. Avoid riding over sewer covers, painted lines, and sealed roadway cracks when possible.
2. You should maintain a safe stopping distance from other vehicles.
3. Avoid lane sharing in rainy conditions as much as possible as vehicles are also susceptible to hydroplaning, and someone could be engaging in distracted driving.
4. If you see a puddle with rainbow coloring, do not drive through it, as it’s likely an oil spill which can cause damage to your tires and loss of control.
5. Try to keep your speed steady and avoid erratic or sudden changes.
6. Avoid riding your motorcycle if there is a heavy downpour or flash flood advisory.
7. Do not attempt to ride through large puddles or flooded areas in case of heavy rain or a flash flooding event. Whether or not it is still raining, it is impossible to predict the depth of a flooded dip in the road or pool of stagnant water, how it may affect your bike, or your ability to cross through safely.
Ice, Snow, and Sleet on the Road Causes Motorcycle Accidents in Hamilton NJ
The danger of a motorcycle getting caught in snowy weather cannot be overstated. Approximately 40% of fatal accidents involve a single vehicle, such as motorcycles that lose control on frozen, snow-covered, or slushy roads. When riding in cold temperatures and snow, riders can be exposed to extreme wind chills and reduced visibility, as with rain and fog. If you should get into a crash on your own, you could be left injured on the side of a highway or road exposed to the elements.
Ice or snow on the road can present a major challenge for a motorcyclist because it is very easy for them to lose control of their bike. Icy roads can make it difficult for motorcycle riders to make quick reactions. One consequence of this inability to accelerate or decelerate quickly is an increased risk of skidding on the road.
Snowfall can make driving challenging for drivers of other vehicles sharing the roads. Visibility can be reduced to nearly zero during “whiteouts” or when snow falls heavily. Identifying a motorcyclist with enough time and control to stop or slow down can become complicated, making severe and messy collisions unavoidable in certain conditions. When the temperature drops suddenly, roads and highways may become ice if salt has not been appropriately applied in advance. There are constantly large trucks transporting goods on the freeways, and when roads are encumbered with ice, this can spell disaster, especially for nearby motorcyclists. Black ice patches can sneak up on motorcycle riders and result in horrific calamities. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that 24% of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement and 15% during snowfall or sleet.
1. Review the weather forecast for your current location and the route you plan to drive before heading out on your motorcycle.
2. If the weather doesn’t look conducive to safe driving conditions or there is even a chance of snowfall, hail, or freezing rain, reschedule your ride; it is not worth the risk.
3. Avoid long rides in extreme temperatures or weather conditions as they carry the potential for windchill and hypothermia. Although temperatures are cold, you may still sweat underneath layers of clothing and personal protective equipment. Mixing moisture and freezing temperatures can cause hypothermic effects on the body.
4. If unpredicted or unexpected weather hits, consider pausing your journey safely at an open rest area and waiting for bad conditions to subside or scheduling an alternative method of transportation home. Sleat, snow, ice, or slush can take the life of a motorist in seconds.
5. Carry road flares and reflective materials in your bike’s storage compartment, such as a safety vest. These can be helpful in any crash, particularly in remote areas, on highways, and in the event, the collision is at night or during a weather event causing low visibility.
6. If you have gotten into an accident and can move yourself to safety, do so immediately. Call 911 as soon as possible—light road flares to alert other drivers of yourself and the wreck.
Extreme Heat Threats for Motorcycle Riders in Princeton NJ
Riding your motorcycle on a sunny hot day may sound like a breezy escape, but it can be quite the opposite. Patches created with sealant to repair pavement ruptures can melt under heightened temperatures. In hotter weather, the cracks (tar snakes) can become slippery and increase the probability of an accident for motorcycle riders.
Furthermore, asphalt can also soften and give way, initiating additional hazards, particularly for motorcycles, which already require a greater level of skill and finesse to control than a car, for example, and have a lower level of stability. When riding on your bike in sizzling temperatures, insulated by safety gear, and exposed to sun rays, a rider is also vulnerable to suffering from a heat stroke, resulting in a potential loss of consciousness, command of their motorcycle, and ultimately an accident endangering themselves and others.
1. If you are feeling overheated, out on a ride, get off at the nearest exit, hydrate, and assess your symptoms before getting back on your bike.
2. Avoid riding on hot days for longer durations, and consider investing in breathable riding and safety gear.
3. Check temperatures for the day, and avoid routes with heavily patched roads or fresh asphalt and pavement, as the likelihood of road materials softening is greater.
Lastly, according to studies by the Automobile Association of America (AAA) and multiple insurance companies’ data reports, summer contains the 100 most lethal driving days of the year. Remain alert, and avoid distracted or intoxicated drivers.
Multi-Vehicle Crashes in Bad Weather and Motorcycle Injuries
Whether thunderstorms, heavy rain, sleet, or snow, bad weather often looks like a multi-car accident on New Jersey highways. A two-decade high for accident-related deaths was marked in 2022 in New Jersey, according to a New Jersey State Police Report.
Per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report (IIHS), the number of motorcycle deaths per mile traveled in 2019 was approximately 29 times higher than that of cars. Unfortunately, when motorcyclists are involved in multi-vehicle crashes, the injuries can be substantial, long-term, and even fatal. In such collisions, motorcycle riders are often ejected from their bikes. They suffer agonizing injuries like road rash, internal bleeding, fractures, and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs), which can sadly become even more devastating in the blink of an eye. A thrown Motorcyclist is exposed to traffic while lying on the road, susceptible to further injury by another vehicle running into the wreck or a car trying to avoid the scene.
Note: Motorcycle riders are most likely to suffer head injuries.
1. Multiple vehicle car accidents occur most frequently in bad weather or during times of high traffic congestion. On a motorcycle, bypassing traffic by lane sharing and continually changing lanes to advance may seem convenient. In bad weather or heavy traffic, such driving can be reckless, so it is best avoided.
2. According to data and reporting by The Weather Channel, more fatalities and injuries amount annually from weather-related collisions than significant weather disasters like tornadoes and flooding. Driving in any form of precipitation (snow, rain, fog, etc.) is life-threatening and should be regarded as such and faced with increased safety precautions. Keep distance from other vehicles, use your hazards, and do not drive over the speed limit.
3. Call 911 if you have been in a multi-vehicle crash.
4. When an accident occurs on the highway, it is best to wait for the police and emergency medical personnel in a safe area to the side out of the lanes of traffic. For drivers of vehicles, it is recommended to remain inside their car, according to AAA and state highway patrol experts.
5. Do not approach injured individuals or damaged vehicles. You could risk further injury from an approaching vehicle or cause an oncoming car to swerve, potentially yielding an even greater collision. Calling 911 is the soundest thing to do to help everyone involved.
6. Hormones released by the body after a crash can mask pain and injuries. You may not fully realize the nature of the harm you have sustained. Moving around too much could worsen an injury. Always get medical treatment and checkups after an accident.
Steps to Follow After a Motorcycle Accident Impacted by Weather
You have likely sustained severe injuries if you were involved in a weather-impacted motorcycle accident. Although you need to concentrate on recovery, rising medical costs are pressing and establishing liability for the collision. By hiring an experienced motorcycle accident attorney at Cohen & Riechelson, you can avoid being mistakenly culpable for an accident that was not your fault or being made solely responsible for all damages.
Call for a Free Consultation with a Lawrence NJ Motorcycle Accident Dangerous Weather Conditions Attorney
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Cohen & Riechelson will fight to get you compensated for your motorcycle accident injuries. We can also guide you through the legal process and ensure your rights are always protected. Whether you have been in a single-vehicle or multi-vehicle crash on your motorcycle, determining liability can seem challenging when mother nature plays a crucial role. It is our commitment and background in this area that can make all the difference in the success of your claim. Additionally, we handle all motorcycle accident injury cases on a contingency fee basis; we only get paid after we win your case.
Call us today to discuss your motorcycle accident case with a member of our litigation team. You can also email us anytime to schedule a free, no-obligation meeting at our offices in Hamilton or Pennington, NJ. We assist injured bikers in Woodbridge, Hamilton, Ewing, Princeton, Pennington, and throughout Mercer, Burlington, and Middlesex County. Our practice spans the state helping injury victims and we encourage you to connect with a knowledgeable motorcycle injury attorney who can further advise and assist you.