5 Important Safety Tips for New Jersey Motorcycle Riders
Motorcyclists in New Jersey are 29 times more at risk of being killed in a collision than occupants of passenger vehicles. Additionally, motorcyclists are five times more at risk of suffering a serious injury, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
To protect yourself while riding on a motorcycle in New Jersey, follow the safety tips discussed below from the trusted motorcycle accident attorneys of Lynch Law Firm, PC.
If you have sustained a serious personal injury in a motorcycle accident, call us for a free consultation to discuss your legal options. We will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to review your claim and determine if you have a case that entitles you to compensation.
1. Wear the Right Gear
In New Jersey, the state’s motorcycle laws require all operators and passengers to wear a helmet while operating or riding a motorcycle, per New Jersey Revised Statutes 39:3-76.7.
A motorcycle helmet must be sized properly for the wearer and fastened with neck or chin straps. Additionally, the helmet must feature reflective material and be of a type approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Motorcycle drivers also must wear a face shield or protective goggles while riding. However, if an approved wind screen has been installed on the motorcycle, the driver is not required to wear protective eyewear.
While not required by law, motorcyclists should wear additional protective gear that covers the body because it may significantly reduce the risk of serious injury during a crash. Protective motorcycle gear can include:
- Long-sleeved jackets that are resistant to abrasions
- Over-the-ankle boots
- Snug, full-fingered gloves
- Pants made from abrasion-resistant materials, such as leather
2. Make Sure You Are Visible to Other Motorists
Because motorcycles are smaller vehicles, motorcyclists are often less visible to motorists driving a truck or passenger vehicle.
Unfortunately, many motorists are untrained to look for motorcycles and do not always anticipate that a motorcyclist is traveling next to them.
However, improving your visibility will help other drivers see you and may reduce the risk of being in an accident. A motorcyclist can improve his or her safety by:
- Ensuring the motorcycle’s headlights, tail lights and brake lights are working to improve visibility on the roads
- Using reflective tape or decals on a motorcycle, helmet, or other gear to help other motorists see you on the road
- Using the motorcycle’s horn to alert other drivers of your presence
- Riding outside of other vehicles’ blind spots whenever possible
- Choosing to wear gear that is brightly colored and will make you stand out more to other motorists
3. Drive Defensively
Additionally, driving defensively can help you to protect yourself and improve your reaction time to hazards you may encounter while riding a motorcycle. Some useful defensive driving tips for motorcyclists are:
- Keeping an eye on what other drivers are doing. Your observations can clue you in to what their next move may be so you can react appropriately.
- Using your turn signal when turning or changing lanes. Turn it on with plenty of time before your maneuver so other drivers have time to see.
- Remaining calm while driving. When other drivers cut you off or drive recklessly around you, do not retaliate. Keep a level head and pull over if you need to.
- Staying out of blind spots when possible. Leave ample space when passing other vehicles, changing lanes or merging to avoid collisions. Always double-check your blind spots before maneuvering.
4. Know Your Skill Level
All motorcyclists should know their skill level and should not ride under conditions or in areas that are beyond your skills set. This includes avoiding hazards such as inclement weather, uneven roadways or heavy traffic areas.
Even the most experienced riders can benefit from occasionally brushing up on motorcycle skills and knowledge. Reviewing these may help to remind you of important safety procedures and skills that could make the difference in helping you avoid an accident in the future.
5. Be Alert
Taking your attention off the road while riding a motorcycle significantly increases your risk of being involved in an accident. Always stay focused on the road and your surroundings and remember to avoid distractions while driving.
In New Jersey, it is illegal to use handheld cellphones or other electronic devices to talk or text while operating a motorcycle. In addition to cellphone use, avoid these common distractions while riding:
- Using a GPS or handheld electronic device
- Adjusting the radio
- Eating or drinking
- Talking to a passenger
Furthermore, motorcyclists must follow the same drunk driving laws as other motorists. It is illegal to operate a motorcycle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal and can impair your vision, judgement, and reaction times, and may lead to accidents causing you or others serious injury or death.
Contact New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Now
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the Lynch Law Firm, PC’s experienced New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyers for a free consultation.
We will discuss your claim to determine if you have legal options to hold the at-fault party liable for his or her negligence. Our attorneys will thoroughly investigate your claim to determine if you have a case that entitles you to compensation for your pain and suffering.
As dedicated personal injury attorneys, we work only on a contingency. This means all of our services are provided at no upfront cost and you only pay us if we help you recover compensation.
Call (800) 518-0508 today.