New Jersey Motorcyclists: Five Facts You Need to Know
As a motorcyclist, you have concerns about safety that are unique from those of other drivers. Statistically, motorcyclists are the most vulnerable motor vehicle operators on New Jersey roads. In order to stay safe on the road, it is important to understand the risks you face, and the ways to best protect yourself against those risks. Read on to learn five important facts that every New Jersey rider should know, and contact an experienced New Jersey motorcycle accident attorney if you’ve been hurt in a crash.
1. Motorcyclists are killed in accidents far more often than other drivers.
Motorcycles make up about 2% of all vehicles on the road, but motorcyclists comprise about 9% of all fatalities. Motorcyclists are about 26 times more likely to be killed in a crash than a passenger vehicle driver, and about five times more likely to be injured. Motorcyclists simply must stay vigilant and drive defensively whenever they’re on the road.
2. Bikers in New Jersey must wear helmets
Helmet use is the law for all riders in New Jersey. Not only could riders face stiff fines for failing to wear a helmet; they could suffer major injuries. Helmets have been shown to be 67% effective in preventing head injuries in riders, and head injuries are the number one cause of motorcyclist fatalities.
3. Passenger vehicle drivers don’t always know how to drive around motorcycle
Passenger vehicle drivers aren’t as accustomed to looking for motorcycles as they are other passenger vehicles, and they may fail to properly inspect their blind spots or scan the roadway for the smaller object presented by a motorcycle. It is often the biker’s duty to maintain a safe speed, and to keep enough distance between themselves and the cars around them to stop if they notice a driver who appears not to notice them.
4. There are safe driving classes for motorcyclists
Motorcycle riding involves special skills that require time and practice to hone. In order to help riders develop these skills, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers training programs to help new or inexperienced motorcyclists learn skills that can help save their lives. These courses may also help riders obtain a discount on their insurance or eliminate points on their license.
5. Bikers are more likely to be involved in single-vehicle crashes
Due to the fact that motorcycles are less stable than other passenger vehicles, they’re more likely to lose control and to be involved in a single-vehicle crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that an average of 41% of all fatal motorcycle accidents are single-vehicle crashes. Even if yours is the only vehicle involved, you may still have a legal claim for damages after a motorcycle accident. Riders often have claims against a manufacturer of a faulty vehicle, a claim based on a defectively-maintained road, or claims based on so-called “phantom drivers” who cause a motorcycle accident even without actually making contact.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash in New Jersey, contact the seasoned and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer Andrew R. Jacobs for a consultation, at 973-532-9681.