4 safety tips for motorcycle operators in New Jersey

Motorcycle accidents can have devastating accidents for those involved, but by taking certain precautions, operators may improve their safety when riding.

Without the exterior protections afforded to car and truck drivers and passengers, motorcycle accidents may result in severe injuries or death for motorcyclists in New Jersey and elsewhere. In fact, based on 2016 fatal auto accident data, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that fatal motorcycle collisions happen 28 times more often than other deadly traffic accidents. Therefore, taking certain precautions when on the road may be essential for helping motorcyclists avoid being involved in potentially serious crashes.

Practice and training

Operating a motorcycle requires different skills and knowledge than driving a car or riding a bicycle. In addition to obtaining the appropriate licensing to ride a motorcycle in the state, it is also important for people to practice operating their vehicles in a controlled environment before riding in traffic. This is the case whether they have never ridden before, or if they have years of experience on motorcycles. For new riders especially, completing a training program before hitting the road may be key for avoiding collisions and the potential for serious injuries or death.

Conduct pre-ride inspections

Ensuring their vehicles are in proper working order may be key for helping people avoid motorcycle accidents when riding in New Jersey. Therefore, before hitting the road, motorcycle operators should check their hand and foot brakes, the tire pressure and tread depth, the fluid levels, the headlights and the signal indicators. It is also a good idea to check where the motorcycle has been stored for any signs of gas or oil leaks.

Wear the right gear

Leather jackets, thick pants, heavy boots and helmets all help people look the part when they operate motorcycles. However, they also provide valuable protections against abrasions and other injuries in the event of an accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who wear helmets are 40% less likely to suffer fatal head injuries in motorcycle accidents than riders who are not wearing helmets. Therefore, it is suggested that motorcycle operators wear long sleeves and pants when they are riding; preferably made from durable materials. Further, they should always wear helmets that meet or exceed the U.S. Department of Transportation's standards, as well as googles, glasses or other such eye protection.

Drive defensively

When sharing the road with other vehicles, it is always important for motorists to obey the traffic lights, signs and regulations to help prevent being involved in an accident. However, this may be particularly vital for motorcycle operators. This is because, according to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, the drivers of the other vehicles involved do not see motorcyclists in over two-thirds of motorcycle accidents. When riding, people should never assume that the other drivers on the road can see them. Rather, they should ride defensively; approaching intersections with caution, yielding to others on the road, and having a plan to avoid potential hazards or other situations that may arise on the road.

Pursuing financial compensation

When people in New Jersey and elsewhere are involved in motorcycle accidents, the effects may be devastating for them and their families. As a result of their injuries, they may be faced with undue medical bills, lost wages and other concerns, on top of their physical and emotional pain and suffering. However, under some circumstances, the other drivers involved may be held financially responsible for injury victims' associated losses. Therefore, they may find it helpful to talk to a legal representative about their rights and legal options.