How to Stay Safe on a Motorcycle This Summer?

New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr are on Your Side if You are Involved in a Motorcycle Accident.

With the warmer weather arriving, one activity that many New Jersey residents enjoy is riding their motorcycle. There is no freer feeling than the wind in your face and the sunshine on your back as you drive the open roads of the Garden State.

While riding your motorcycle can be a lot of fun, it can also be dangerous. Motorcycles do not afford the motorist the same protections as cars do, and bikes are more prone to spin out of control in bad weather. There are ways to reduce your chances of being involved in a motorcycle accident for not only your protection both for those that you share the road with as well.

When you are involved in a motorcycle, the results can be devastating. You could sustain significant injuries and find yourself dealing with long-term disabilities. The medical costs these could have could make a signifcant impact on you and your family. Speaking with New Jersey car accident lawyers can help provide you with some legal options.

What Do the Laws Mandate About Motorcycle Riding in New Jersey?

New Jersey is cognizant of the dangers that riding a motorcycle can pose and has implemented several laws that mandate safety measures for riders. Most are common sense, but serve as important reminders of ways to stay safe when on the road.

If you ride a motorcycle in New Jersey, the law requires that you:

  • Obtain a license: Before you are allowed to get on a motorcycle, you must know how to ride it. To verify that, you must first obtain either a valid driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement or a separate motorcycle license.
  • Be insured: As with all drivers, you must be insured if you plan to ride a motorcycle in this state. If you fail to prove that you are insured you could face fines, insurance surcharges, community service requirements, or even the suspension of your driver’s license.
  • Wear a helmet: Not all states require that riders wear a helmet, but in New Jersey it is mandatory that you have a helmet on as you drive. Not only is it the law, but it is for your own good.

Before you get on your bike, be sure that you know what the requirements are for the state and remember that laws change as you move from state to state.

What Are Safety Tips for Riding My Motorcycle?

While the law itself provides good tips on steps you should take to ensure your safety as you ride this summer, there are plenty of other steps you can take that will help reduce the likelihood that you will be involved in a motorcycle accident. Those tips include:

  • Wear the right gear: You must wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. In this state, there is other gear you should wear, including a face shield or protective goggles, as well as full-fingered leather gloves, over-the-ankle boots, and long-sleeved jackets resistant to abrasions.
  • Be visible: Many drivers are not trained to look for motorcyclists, so the best thing you can do is make yourself as visible as possible. That means turning your headlights on, using reflective surfaces, and using your horn to alert other drivers of your presence.
  • Drive defensively: Be aware of your surroundings and watch for other drivers who may not be driving properly. Remain calm while driving and use proper techniques including turn signals and do not weave through traffic.
  • Know your skill level: You should have a legitimate understanding of your level as a rider and accommodate for that. If the weather is going to be bad and you do not have the confidence to manage it, then you should not be out in those conditions. Also, you should not be riding aggressively, particularly if you lack the confidence to ride.
  • Be alert: Paying attention to the road is even more important while you are riding a motorcycle. Be aware of what others on the road are doing including other motorcyclists, cars, and even pedestrians. Give yourself time to react to what they are doing in case they make any sudden movements.

If you find yourself involved in a motorcycle accident with another driver, you should speak with a New Jersey car accident lawyer before speaking with anyone else including your insurance company.

How Can I Stay Safe Before Getting on My Motorcycle?

Not only can you follow certain safety precautions while you are out on the road, but there are also a few things you can do before your trip. Initially, you should become familiar with the motorcycle you will be riding. You should know if it has any problems or issues that you will need to compensate for. Look at what the weather will be like when you plan to ride. If road conditions are such that the roads will be slippery with rain or ice, you might wish to consider traveling at a different time.

Finally, have a first aid kit with you when you travel. It should include bandages, flares, and a flashlight in case you encounter problems at night.

What Are Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

When you are out on your motorcycle, you should be aware of what the common causes of motorcycle accidents are so that you can avoid them yourself. These common causes include:

  • Driver inattention: This has become the leading cause of traffic accidents in the state and occur when individuals fail to see what they are doing or what other drivers around them are doing.
  • Left turns: A significant portion of accidents with other vehicles occurs because the other vehicle is turning left and failing to yield to oncoming traffic. In many instances they do not even see motorcycles coming and proceed with their turn anyway giving you little time to react.
  • Speeding: Many motorcyclists are guilty of exceeding the speed limit and limits the time a rider must react to things occurring in front of them. Speed is a factor in about 33 percent of all fatal motorcycle crashes.
  • Riding under the influence: Driving or riding a motorcycle under the influence of either drugs or alcohol is illegal and dangerous. You are unable to comprehend your surrounds as well nor do you react in time to anything that is occurring around you. You become a danger to yourself and other sin that condition.
  • Improper passing: When you pass illegally leaving the driver little time to react, they tend to overreact by swerving to avoid contacting you. Unfortunately, in their panic they may wind up hitting someone else which could cause another accident.

Always be sure to follow the rules of the road and practice proper riding techniques when you are on the road. And contact a New Jersey car accident lawyer if you become injured in an accident.

New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr are on Your Side if You are Involved in a Motorcycle Accident

If you have been injured while you were riding your motorcycle, the driver, or drivers responsible for causing the accident can be held liable for their role in causing your injuries. The New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr will help you hold those responsible accountable. Call us at 877-249-4600 or 732-249-4600 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, Colonia, Elizabeth, and Newark, New Jersey.

Sources

Lynch Law Firm

https://www.lynchlawyers.com/blog/motorcycle-safety-tips/

National Law Review

https://www.natlawreview.com/article/causes-new-jersey-motorcycle-accidents-and-how-to-avoid-them

James M. Curran

https://www.currantriallaw.com/articles/tips-for-staying-safe-on-motorcycles/

Markel

https://www.markelinsurance.com/resources/motorcycle/safety-tips