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Do other drivers pose a danger to New Jersey motorcyclists?

Although motorcyclists may share equal rights with other drivers, a motorcycle is no match for a passenger vehicle or truck in a motor vehicle accident. New Jersey authorities are cognizant of this vulnerability and have devoted a page to motorcycle safety on the state’s Division of Highway Traffic Safety website.

The site offers several safety tips, in addition to some sobering statistics. For example, readers may not have realized that motorcyclists are over 26 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries in a crash than passenger car occupants. Each year, around 70 New Jersey motorcyclists die in crashes in the state. From 2009 to 2013, almost 13,000 motorcyclists were involved in accidents in New Jersey. 

Given those statistics, it is imperative for motorcyclists to wear helmets. Yet defensive driving may also be required. Specifically, over half of motorcycle crashes with other vehicles occur at intersections, and in over two-thirds of those instances, the other vehicle’s driver failed to see the motorcyclist. Motorcycles are a less common sight on the road, and certainly smaller in frame than other vehicles, which means that motorcyclists must be extra cautious.

As a personal injury law firm that has helped crash victims file civil lawsuits against a variety of negligent drivers, we understand the types of visual and testimonial evidence that persuade juries. Obtaining compensation for another’s negligence can certainly help pay for medical costs and provide some justice for one’s pain and suffering. However, we also encourage any motorcyclist to take a safety program, such as those promoted through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Proactive efforts and defensive driving may be the best safeguard against motorcycle crashes. 

Source: New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, “Motorcycle Safety Resources,” copyright 2015, State of New Jersey

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