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On July 16, an off-duty police officer was killed in Jersey City while making a left turn on Woodward Street and Communipaw Avenue when his motorcycle collided with a Ford Escape.

On July 22, a 74-year-old Hamburg, New Jersey man was killed on Route 94 when the Harley Davidson he was riding was hit by a driver turning left on Forest Hill Way.

On July 27, in Edison, New Jersey, traffic was snarled for hours when a tractor-trailer collided with a motorcycle killing the driver on I-287. According to police, the Honda motorcycle was traveling south on Interstate 287 near Route 440 when the fatal collision occurred. 

While there may be nothing more exhilarating than cruising down the highway on a motorcycle, injuries, including fatal ones, occur way too often in New Jersey. The simple fact that motorcyclists and their passengers are in the open makes them much more vulnerable to injuries than drivers and passengers in other vehicles. 

Nationally, in 2019 alone, 5,014 motorcyclists were killed. Closer to home, statistics show that if you are involved in a New Jersey motorcycle crash, you have an 82 percent chance of being injured. 

Why Motorcycle Accidents Happen

In 2017, more than 32 percent of motorcycle fatalities involved riders that tested positive for alcohol, and 26 percent of the fatalities occurred at an unsafe speed. Another 24 percent involved motorcycle driver inattention. 

In cases when a motorcycle crash involves another vehicle, more than half occur at intersections, and more than two-thirds occur when the other vehicle’s driver does not see the motorcycle. If a motorcycle crash does not involve another vehicle, two-thirds occur at an excessive speed. Also, inexperienced riders cause many more crashes. 90% of motorcycle riders who are involved in crashes have no formal training.

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to be prepared for the road, both physically and mentally. This means ensuring as a motorcyclist that you have the proper licensing before heading out. In New Jersey, 22 percent of motorcycle fatalities in 2017 happened when the motorcyclists did not have a motorcycle endorsement on their existing driver’s license, despite being required for New Jersey residents.

Safety Tips for New Jersey Motorcyclists

It is extremely important to recognize the importance of motorcycle safety. By being prepared and exercising caution before heading out on a motorcycle, you have a greater chance of staying safe and enjoying the New Jersey roadways. 

The number one safety tip is for both the motorcycle driver and passenger to wear a helmet. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it is estimated that motorcycle helmets saved an estimated 1,872 lives in 2017. If all motorcyclists had worn helmets, an additional 749 lives could have been saved. In New Jersey, it is required by law that motorcyclists wear a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218 approved helmet. 

Before a motorcycle ride, other things you should do include checking your motorcycle’s tire pressure and tread depth, hand and foot brakes, headlights, signal indicators, and fluid levels. Also, your arms and legs should be completely covered by protective clothing when riding a motorcycle.

Motorcyclists must obey traffic lights, signs, speed limits, and lane markings; ride with the flow of traffic, leave plenty of room between their bike and other vehicles, and always check behind you and signal before changing lanes.

If you are a new motorcyclist, practice operating your motorcycle on familiar streets first. Take the time to get accustomed to the feel of a new or unfamiliar motorcycle by riding it in a controlled area.

How a New Jersey Motorcycle Attorney Can Help

When it comes to motorcycling, the next driving hazard could be just around the bend. And, unfortunately, even if you follow all of the safety recommendations mentioned above, you can still get injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence. In this case, you may need a New Jersey motorcycle attorney to advocate for you. 

If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you could endure significant medical bills, lost wages due to missing work, and, in extreme cases, permanent disability or death. Consulting an attorney who understands motorcycle accidents can ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

D’Arcy Johnson Day’s team of experienced New Jersey motorcycle lawyers are in your corner and are here to help. For a free case consultation to determine the best legal options following a motorcycle accident, contact us online or call us toll-free at 866-327-2952.

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