Motorcycle Safety Tips
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and a good time to remind cyclists and motorists alike about some important safety tips. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are six times more likely to be injured, and 27 times more likely to be fatally injured in a motor vehicle crash than passenger car occupants. From 2010 to 2014, there were approximately 13,000 motorcycle crashes in New Jersey alone.
In the Garden State, both new and experienced riders can participate in Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Training Programs to help reduce their risk of getting in an accident.
The NHTSA also provides some motorcycle safety tips:
- Wear protective clothing and equipment: The New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety suggests wearing a DOT-approved helmet, eye protection, long sleeved jacket, abrasion resistant pants, over-the ankle boots, and full-fingered gloves. Riders who do not wear a helmet are three times more likely to die from head injuries than those wearing a DOT-approved helmet at the time of a crash.
- Make sure you are visible: More than two thirds of motorcycle crashes involving other vehicles occur when a driver does not see the motorcycle. Be sure to wear bright, reflective clothing, and apply reflective material to your motorcycle, especially when driving at night.
- Make sure your motorcycle is safe: Check tire pressure, headlights, fluid levels and brakes before riding. Periodically check for any oil or gas leaks and other signs of damage. Also, consider that motorcycles equipped with anti-skid or anti-lock braking systems (ABS) are 37 percent less likely to be involved in a fatal crash.
- Obey traffic laws: Most motorcycle accidents are attributable to excessive speed. More than half occur at intersections, so always be especially cautious when approaching an intersection, and be sure to leave plenty of distance between you and other vehicles.
- Drive defensively: Do not take any unnecessary risks, and always pay attention to other vehicles around you. Be prepared to react if another vehicle brakes suddenly or cuts into your lane.
- Don’t drive under the influence: Driving under the influence puts everyone at risk. In 2015, 27 percent of New Jersey motorcycle fatalities involved drivers that tested positive for alcohol. Drowsy driving is also just as dangerous as drunk driving, so never ride if you are feeling tired.
- Watch out for hazardous road conditions: Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable when it comes to obstacles in the road and hazardous road conditions. Try to avoid potholes and other obstacles in your path. Also, be sure to adjust how you ride according to the weather – wet roads can increase the risk of skidding on sharp turns.
Even the most cautious motorcycle drivers may be involved in an accident due to someone else’s negligence. If a motorcyclist is injured or killed in an accident, they may file a personal injury or wrongful death claim to recover damages for their losses. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for filing such a claim is two years from the date of the accident.
New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP Represent Motorcycle Accident Victims
If you were injured or your loved one lost their life in a motorcycle accident, contact the experienced New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP at 732-777-0100 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are conveniently located in Red Bank, Toms River, and Edison, New Jersey and serve clients throughout New Jersey.