There are few things more American than a biker breezing down a highway at 65 miles per hour with nothing but the wind in his hair (or preferably his helmet). And with summer just around the corner, many bikers are about to dust off those hogs and get ready to ride.
But let’s face it, New Jersey is not known for being driver-friendly. According to NJ State Police statistics, more than 600 people died in traffic accidents on New Jersey’s roadways in 2016. That’s 8% more than in 2015, and the most deaths seen since 2011.
According to Point Pleasant Patch, the most dangerous road in New Jersey is in Hudson County: Route 139U, at Pulaski Skyway terminus in Jersey City, which has had 14.59 accidents for every million miles traveled. Essex County also made the list with Route 124 and Route 7/Belleville Turnpike; so did Bergen County with Palisade, Lemoine Avenues/Route 67, and Bergen Boulevard/Route 63. Some Princeton roads are also notorious for having potholes, overgrown trees, and being generally uneven.
Biker Safety Rules
These are some of the most basic, yet vital, rules you can follow to keep yourself and others around you safe on the road:
- DO NOT drink and drive.
- DO NOT speed.
- DO wear a helmet.
- DO use headlights.
- DO ride defensively.
As bikers, you’re already fully aware of the danger you’re in out on the roadways. This May, take defensive driving to the next level.
Helmets Save Lives
In New Jersey, ALL motorcyclists are required to wear a DOT-approved helmet. A DOT-approved helmet is a type of helmet that’s given DOT certification after certain testing standards are met. The manufacturers of the helmets are responsible for ensuring that all helmets marked with the DOT stamp of approval meet regulations. If a helmet is defective, the manufacturer of the helmet could be found at fault after an accident with injuries.
Here are statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration related to motorcycle helmets and head injuries:
- Motorcycle helmets saved an estimated 1,829 lives in 2008.
- Helmets would have saved an additional 822 lives if all riders were required to wear helmets.
- Helmet use led to nearly $3 billion in cost savings nationwide in 2008 alone.
- If all motorcyclists wore helmets that year, they could have saved an extra $1.3 billion.
- Traffic fatalities have decreased for other types of vehicles since 2000. But motorcycle fatalities have nearly doubled during that time.
- Motorcycle deaths now comprise about 14% of all traffic fatalities, a disproportionate figure considering that motorcycles make up only 3% of registered vehicles in the U.S.
It is also a great idea to invest in some helmet accessories that might make your ride safer, such as Bluetooth headsets designed to fit inside a motorcycle helmet, helmet lighting, face shields and masks, and a helmet camera, which is especially helpful in the case of an accident. Remember – no driving distracted!
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
If you do find yourself in a motorcycle collision, be sure to do the following:
- Check if you are injured, and get medical assistance.
- Call 911.
- If you can, move your bike off the road.
- Gather the other driver’s information, passenger statements, vehicle information, and any witness contact information.
- Contact a motorcycle accident attorney.
The experienced New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyers at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., have years of experience fighting for motorcyclists to be properly compensated for their losses. A motorcycle accident can result in long-lasting or permanent injuries, affecting the victim and his family. Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., provides free consultations at (609) 240-0040 to anyone who has been injured in a collision possibly caused by someone else’s negligence.