On a crisp autumn day, there’s no feeling quite like the wind in your hair. The scenery of leaves turning colors and the temperature, just warm enough to be comfortable but not too hot, make it the perfect time of year for a motorcycle ride.
Before you hop on your bike, though, consider the dangers. The Office of the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety estimates that at least 70 deaths and 2,000 injuries occur each year in New Jersey as a result of motorcycle accidents.
Here are some tips for motorcycle safety:
- Use extra caution at intersections: According to the state office, more than half of all motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle occurred at an intersection, and 40% of single vehicle motorcycle collisions happened while the motorcyclist attempted to turn. When approaching intersections and making a turn, slow down. This is especially important when roads are wet. Always keep plenty of space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.
- Be seen: The government fact sheet states that in multiple vehicle accidents involving a motorcycle, the other motorist did not see the motorcyclist in a staggering amount of cases, over two-thirds. While other motorists should pay attention, motorcyclists can reduce the risk of not being seen. Stay out of other vehicles’ blind spots as much as possible, and wear clothing that will help you stand out. Even when you have done all you can to become more visible on the road, don’t take for granted that other motorists will see you.
- Don’t be a statistic: Avoid risk factors. The state Attorney General’s office writes that excessive speed played a role in 21 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes, and alcohol contributed to 27 percent. When riding a motorcycle, slow down and avoid alcohol use.
- Wear your safety gear: Helmets can save lives. They’re also legally required in New Jersey. For added safety, wear glasses to protect your eyes, properly-fitting gloves for your hands and sturdy boots on your feet.
Even when you practice safe riding habits, you can’t control what other motorists on the road are doing. Sometimes accidents happen regardless of your safety strategies. The physical pain, emotional trauma and financial loss caused by severe injuries can derail your life. Even more frustrating, the accident may not have been your fault, and now you and your family have to face serious, potentially lifelong consequences. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you’re not alone, our New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyers can help.