Motorcycle Accidents in New Jersey
Many who have experienced riding on a motorcycle can understand the draw of traveling unrestricted, enjoying the feeling of the open air, and taking in undisturbed scenery. But, motorcycle riding is not for everyone. In fact, you need to have a certain degree of thrill-seeking in your personality to choose to ride a motorcycle when you know the grim statistics surrounding their safety.
Most often, motorcycle accidents are not caused by the motorcycle driver. In fact, the majority of the accidents are caused by the inattention of negligent drivers. When a motorcycle accident involves a large car, SUV, or truck, the results can be devastating. In fact, according to government statistics, the risk of fatal injury is 35% more likely for a motorcyclists than persons involved in a car accident.
Automobiles provide protection to the drivers and passengers by way of the steel frame surrounding them, along with the added protection of seat belts, air bags, and other restraint systems. A motorcyclist involved in an accident has only their helmet and possibly a leather riding suit between them and the ground. Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries or even death.
Protective Equipment and Skill are Essential
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 80% of all motorcycle accidents result in serious injury or death, with the number of deaths from motorcycle accidents doubling in just one decade. Unfortunately, the motorcyclist is at the mercy of other drivers, so it is vital to take as many safety precautions as possible to ensure the ride is a safe and enjoyable one.
Traumatic brain injuries and other head trauma are common among motorcyclists who are thrown from their bike in a collision. The impact to the head when a driver hits the ground or another obstacle while traveling at 40-50 miles an hour can cause permanent disability or death. According to the NHTSA, for every 100 motorcycle fatalities, 37 could have survived their injuries if they had been wearing a helmet.
New Jersey motorcyclists are required to have an approved, non-reflective helmet that has four inches of reflective tape adhered to both sides of the helmet. The driver of the motorcycle must also have approved goggles or face shield if the helmet does not have a wind screen. All riders on motorcycles must also have these approved helmets.
Failure to obey the laws regarding helmet use can significantly affect the success of your insurance claim following a motorcycle accident. If the driver or passenger was not wearing the required protective safety equipment at the time of the accident, insurance coverage for injuries may not be provided.
Helmets provide protection against severe brain or skull injuries in the event of an accident, but there are other forms of protective gear as well. Leather riding suits are ideal for protecting the motorcyclists against what is commonly called, “road rash” when the cyclists skin comes in contact with the road surface. This injury can require extensive recovery periods, surgery, and skin graphs.
Goggles or sunglasses, full-fingered gloves, long pants, jackets, and boots are also helpful to reduce the severity of motorcycle injuries. Motorcycle drivers are also encouraged to wear clothes that fit tight to the body to avoid them getting stuck in gears or entangled in the wind. Bright and neon colors are also encouraged to enhance the visibility of the bike itself.
License, Registration, and Insurance
The state of New Jersey requires all motorcycle riders to have a state-issued license and motorcycles that are registered and insured. Motorcycles must also be inspected to ensure that they are working properly and within the regulations set forth by the NHTSA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Motorcycle inspections are available from April to October of each year. During the inspection, the tires, seat, handholds, footrests, brakes, steering, suspension, wheel alignment, horn, and rear light and reflectors will be checked. Stoplights, headlights, rearview mirrors, exhaust systems, and license plates with appropriate decals will also be inspected.
A common but risky practice of lane sharing occurs when a motorcycle and a car, or two motorcycles, choose to share a lane. While this seems harmless, this behavior increases the chances of a mutli-vehicle accident occurring. Drivers of cars often claim that they did not see the motorcycle in the lane and therefore could not avoid an accident. Motorists making abrupt lane changes may also fail to see motorcyclists. Motorcyclists need to know their skill level and operate their bike within their own comfort level.
Road maintenance, especially after a long, snowy winter, can be difficult to address at times and cause serious risk to motorcyclists. Pot holes, faded bike lanes, debris in the roadway, rising and setting sunlight, and slippery road surfaces can result in traumatic car accidents and injuries involving a motorcyclist. Motorcyclists should always be aware of dangerous road conditions and avoid poorly maintained roads whenever possible.
Cherry Hill Personal Injury Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Help Motorcycle Accident Injury Victims Claim Compensation
If you or someone you know has been injured in a South Jersey motorcycle accident, call Camden County personal injury lawyers of DiTomaso Law at 856-414-0010 or contact us online to schedule your consultation today.
Our offices are located in Center City, Philadelphia, and in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, serving clients throughout both states, including Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, South Jersey, Mount Holly, Burlington County, Cherry Hill and Camden County.