If you’ve ever climbed onto the back of a motorcycle, you know the thrill and excitement of riding one. With the wind rushing by, you might quickly forget that a motorcycle rider has a higher risk of crashing, often through no fault of their own. In 2019, more than 5,000 motorcyclists died on U.S. roads. This number accounts for 14% of the total number of traffic fatalities. It is estimated that more than 84,000 motorcyclists were injured in 2019. When factoring in that only 3% of all registered vehicles in the U.S. are motorcycles, motorcyclists are overrepresented in crashes.
Motorcyclists are more than 28 times more likely to die in an accident and four times more likely to be injured than someone behind the wheel of an automobile. The number of motorcyclists involved in accidents is far too high, and as New Jersey motorcycle accident attorneys, we see the devastating price for those injured or killed.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There are a variety of factors that can contribute to motorcycle crashes. Some are related to the motorcyclists’ surroundings, time of day, location and whether other vehicles are present. More than 60% of motorcycle fatalities happen in urban settings, while just 38% occur in rural areas.
While the weather can contribute to traffic accidents, more than 88% of motorcycle fatalities occurred under clear or cloudy weather conditions. Under 2% of motorcycle fatalities occurred in rainy conditions, while less than 0.4% occurred due to foggy conditions. The time of day is also less of a factor when motorcyclists are involved in fatal crashes. 50% of fatal motorcycle accidents occurred during the day, while 49% occurred during nighttime hours.
In 2019, more than 52% of fatal motorcycle accidents involved two vehicles and occurred on urban roads during the day and in good weather. The motorcyclists were also wearing helmets. Unfortunately, New Jersey motorcyclists are still vulnerable to deadly crashes even under the best driving conditions and following safety measures.
Crashes Involving Other Vehicles
In New Jersey, more than half of motorcycle crashes happen at intersections. More importantly, crashes are caused by drivers who may not see the motorcycle until it’s too late. Without being protected by an automobile frame, airbag, and seatbelt, motorcyclists are vulnerable to accidents involving drivers who failed to notice the motorcycle and may have been distracted, leading to injury and even death.
Single Motorcycle Crashes
More than two-thirds of single motorcycle crashes in New Jersey are due to speed. It’s advised that motorcyclists keep an eye on their speed when riding.
The experience level of motorcyclists also plays a contributing factor in crashes. 90% of riders involved in a motorcycle crash have no formal motorcycle training. Programs like NJRIDESAFE.ORG teach motorcycle safety to inexperienced and experienced riders. Training programs like this educate riders on how to drive safely and responsibly and offer techniques for managing traction, stopping quickly, cornering and swerving.
Motorcycle Safety Precautions
An excellent way to reduce the potential of a motorcycle crash is to obey the rules of the road and to wear protective clothing and equipment. Begin with using a DOT-approved helmet. It is believed that a proper helmet can reduce the risk of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), those not wearing a helmet are three times more likely to experience a TBI. The NHTSA also estimates that motorcycle helmets reduce the likelihood of a crash fatality by 37 percent.
In addition to a helmet, add an abrasion-resistant jacket and pants to protect the body. For feet protection, consider sturdy boots that cover the ankle. As for your hands, look for full-fingered gloves that fit well. Finally, consider eye protection, such as a shield on the helmet, goggles or glasses. Wearing protective equipment can help keep motorcyclists safe from injury during a crash.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, there are things to do to ensure the safety of all involved. Survey the scene and determine if anyone requires immediate medical assistance. Be sure to get out of oncoming traffic and contact the police. Also, consider contacting a motorcycle accident attorney.
Motorcycle accidents bring a variety of concerns, like medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. They can also cause permanent disability or death. An attorney experienced in motorcycle accidents can advise you on your legal options after a crash. They can walk you through the accident recovery process so you receive proper compensation for your injuries.
When someone is at fault for a motorcycle accident and the resulting injury, they need to be held accountable. The New Jersey lawyers at D’Arcy Johnson Day can help you fight for fair and full compensation. For a free case consultation following a motorcycle accident, contact us online or call us toll-free at 866-327-2952.
From sexual abuse matters to personal injury and workers compensation, Jessica brings a wealth of experience to her practice at D’Arcy Johnson Day. Her fluency in both English and Spanish enables her to help so many members of the community, as she focuses on accident and personal injury cases, work injuries, medical malpractice, immigration, criminal law, and municipal court proceedings among other areas of practice.