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How can I become a safer motorcyclist?

As a New Jersey motorcyclist, you are 29 times more likely to die in a vehicle crash than a passenger car occupant. This is according to the New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety, which adds that you are also five times more likely to be injured. There is an 83 percent chance that you will be injured if you crash.

There were over 13,000 motorcycle crashes in New Jersey between 2010-2014, of which 62 occurred in 2014. In 2015, the cycle crash statistics broke down as follows:

  • 31 percent involved riders who were speeding.
  • 27 percent involved riders who tested positive for alcohol.
  • 24 percent involved riders who were distracted or inattentive.

In crashes involving a motorcycle and another vehicle, over half occurred at intersections. More than 66 percent of the other vehicles’ drivers failed to see the cycle.

In fatal crashes involving only a motorcycle, 22 percent of the motorcycles were driven by an inexperienced rider who did not have a motorcycle endorsement. Over two-thirds of the crashes were the result of excessive speed. Forty percent occurred at turns and corners.

New Jersey safety programs

If you are a typical New Jersey rider, you probably have had no formal training in the art of riding a motorcycle. Ninety percent of motorcycle operators who crash do not have such training. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has several training programs that can help you avoid crashes and/or suffer fewer injuries should you crash. You can find a complete online list of certified MSF RiderCourse training locations at NJRIDESAFE.ORG. In addition to receiving motorcycle safety training, you could receive insurance discounts, license point deductions and road test waivers.

Protective gear

When riding your motorcycle, New Jersey law requires you to wear a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation. You also should wear the following protective gear:

  • A heavy jacket that is resistant to abrasions and has long sleeves
  • Pants that are abrasion-resistant and fit well
  • Boots that are sturdy and come up over your ankles
  • Gloves that are full-fingered and fit your hands well
  • Glasses, goggles or a shield attached to your helmet

This information is provided for educational purposes. It should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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