New Jersey sees its fair share of motorcycles in the summer. These open-air vehicles are perfect for joyriding along the coast or Sunday road trips through New England.
However, with more motorcycles comes higher risk. Though bikes only account for 3% of the vehicles on the road, they make up 14% of roadway deaths. Drivers can help by practicing safe driving and motorcycle awareness.
Drive with respect and care around motorcycles
The easiest way to help motorcycles stay safe is with patience and awareness. Drivers who keep the basics at the forefront will have much more success spotting bikers and helping them stay safe.
Follow these guidelines:
- Give bikers more road space: Motorcycles operate differently than cars, reacting and accelerating at greater speeds. To accommodate them, drivers can give bikers extra space on the road, especially when driving behind.
- Do not use brights: Motorcycles do not have full-coverage windshields that block harmful light rays. When driving near motorcycles at night, drivers should double-check that their brights are off.
- Signal all turns: Too many drivers fail to use turn signals regularly. Where a car’s driver may find a lack of signaling annoying, a motorcyclist may find it lethal. Signal early and signal often, especially around bikes.
- Turn left with care: Most motorcycle accidents occur in intersections where other cars can block line of sight. Left turns can be particularly disastrous for a biker who believes they have the right-of-way.
- Watch blind spots: A car’s blind spots can hide an entire truck from a driver’s view. Careful drivers will double-check their blind spots when driving, especially if they know a motorcycle is near.
- Do not drive while intoxicated: Driving under the influence is incredibly dangerous for the driver, their passengers and anyone on the road. Drinking and driving puts bikers especially at risk since they are 29 times more likely to die when involved in an accident.
Those involved in a motorcycle accident may seek damages
Drivers involved in an accident with a motorcycle may need legal assistance. A local attorney familiar with New Jersey motor vehicle law can assess one’s case, navigate insurance policies and draft settlement paperwork.