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Monmouth County New Jersey Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Why are motorcyclists better drivers?

As much as you love taking your motorcycle out on the roadways of New Jersey, sometimes you have to drive your car instead. The good news is that, when you are behind the wheel, you are more likely to be a safer driver than the motorists around you. How does your riding experience improve your driving skills?

According to BikeBandit.com, one of the things your time on your motorcycle has taught you is to be wary of the drivers around you. On two wheels, it has become second nature to watch for dangerous behaviors in others, so you recognize the drifting wheels of someone looking at a cellphone or programming a GPS system. These drivers have shown little regard for your safety, but you know better than to take the same risks; you are on high alert all the time, prepared to make defensive maneuvers. Your instincts and reflexes are honed from the skills it takes to operate a motorcycle, which allows you to respond to a hazard in an instant.

Explaining the dangers of eating while driving

With all of the attention being placed on preventing people from texting and driving, you likely feel very safe from distracted drivers. Yet are there other activities that many in Monmouth County engage in that can be just as distracting? Several people have come to us here at Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson & Covelli following car accidents surprised to learn just how dangerous it can be to eat while behind the wheel. If you have recently been involved in an accident caused by one who otherwise appeared to be a responsible driver, you may want to ask yourself whether eating while driving was the cause of your collision. 

The Auto Alliance has partnered with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons to help educate people on the dangers of eating while driving. One of the most alarming statistics that they share indicates a widespread ignorance (or even indifference) to this hazard. They share data collected by Exxon Mobil that shows that 70 percent of drivers surveyed admitted to eating while behind the wheel, while 83 percent confessed to drinking beverages while driving. 

Deadly New Jersey crashes are up in 2017

The New Jersey State Police keep running tallies of the crash statistics in the state. Fatal motor vehicle accident reports come from the Fatal Accident Investigation Unit, and although they are provided as of the current date, they are preliminary numbers and subject to change as more data come in. 

As of Dec. 28, 2017, there have been 596 deadly accidents in New Jersey this year, killing 629 people. Just over half of those who died - 346 people - were drivers, although not necessarily the drivers whose mistake caused the accident. Of these, 73 of the drivers who died were between 50 and 64 years old, 62 were in the 30-39 age group, and 51 were 40- to 49-year-old drivers.

Using effective surveillance to avoid truck accidents

As a trucker who spends considerable time behind the wheel, logging thousands of miles each year, you have probably encountered some close calls along the way. You may be well aware that driving a truck means you have to use extra caution and vigilance as you move around other motorists. At Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson & Covelli, we have experience working with New Jersey truckers, and we understand the risks that are unique to their job. 

One of the best ways that you can actively avoid potential hazards and maintain an accident-free record is by knowing how to watch for danger. This means you have to be actively engaged in what is happening on the road around you and not allow yourself to become dangerously distracted. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, you can do several things in an effort to maintain adequate surveillance and safely maneuver your truck around other drivers. Some of the things you can do include the following:

  • Use your mirrors to identify potential hazards like vehicles in your blind spot, loose cargo, tire fires or changing traffic conditions.
  • Be a defensive driver by staying completely focused on the road ahead to recognize danger before it is too late.
  • Understand your blind spots and which areas you need to pay extra attention to when maneuvering through traffic.
  • Always keep an eye out on what is happening ahead. Looking up to a quarter mile ahead of you can give you ample time to make quick decisions if you are faced with a road hazard.

Winter road conditions increase the risk of distracted driving

There's little doubt that distracted driving poses a substantial risk to anyone on public roads. Even the most attentive and careful driver could end up in a crash after crossing paths with someone distracted behind the wheel. The results could include serious injuries or even a death, as well as damage to the vehicles involved. Many states, including New Jersey, work hard to enforce laws against distracted driving, but it still happens.

While distracted driving is risky all year round, it is particularly dangerous during winter weather conditions. The winter roads can be incredibly unforgiving about any failure to control your vehicle and successfully notice upcoming issues, like a patch of ice ahead. This increased risk does little to prevent other drivers from distractions, sadly. Although you may drive carefully in winter weather, others may not.

Why are trucking companies installing in-cab cameras?

When you think of in-cab cameras for large trucks, you may think the main benefit would be to keep truck drivers in New Jersey from using cellphones or other electronic devices while behind the wheel. However, the technology has many more applications, and these uses could be just as essential to your safety.

According to Trucking Info, cameras in the cab are not for spying on drivers, although they could act as a deterrent, certainly. Not all systems are the same, but typically they face both inside the truck and outside. Many do not start recording unless there is a near miss, such as if the trucker had to slam on the brakes to avoid rear-ending you, or an actual collision. Some systems can be set to identify traffic infractions such as the running of a red light or failing to wear a seat belt, as well. If you are in a crash with a truck that has cameras rolling, it may be a simple matter to identify liability for the collision, whether due to driver error, truck malfunction or even an unbalanced load.

NJ prepares to reduce drunk driving deaths this holiday season

Statewide, New Jersey law enforcement are participating in a program that provides extra money to agencies so they can allocate extra resources toward identifying and stopping drunk drivers. According to the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office, sobriety checkpoints and extra patrols will begin Dec. 9, 2017, and run through Jan. 1, 2018. So far this year, alcohol-related fatalities have equaled 20 percent of the 572 total traffic deaths on state roadways.

In addition to these efforts, law enforcement agencies across the state hope that residents will get involved in reducing drunk driving deaths. They urge people to choose a designated driver or arrange for an alternative way home before drinking. Even deciding to walk home could be dangerous for someone who is drunk. When those who are impaired appear to be planning to drive, friends, family members or others should be ready to step in and take the keys or assist with transportation.

Tragic accident involving motorcycle and truck, kills man

For many New Jersey motorcyclists, the experience of riding in the open air is both thrilling and relaxing. Motorcycles have many benefits including better gas mileage, increased flexibility in traffic and cheaper repairs. However, riding a motorcycle also has unique risks because of increased exposure to conditions that could be dangerous if not monitored cautiously. In some cases, even when a motorcyclist is driving responsibly and carefully, the actions of other drivers can pose a dangerous threat. 

This was the case in a recent motorcycle crash that claimed the life of a man in California. The man was described by the people that knew him as an avid motorcyclist. He was approximately one mile away from his work when a semi-truck turned left in front of him. Unable to avoid the collision, the man slammed into the truck and passed away soon after. His family and coworkers described him as a selfless person who went above and beyond to help the people around him. He was a devoted father to six children who lovingly nicknamed him, "El Nene." It is unknown if the truck driver was injured or cited in the accident. The crash remains under investigation.

Motorcycle accidents over the holidays

Motorcycle accidents are a serious problem at any time of the year. However, there are certain times in which these accidents may be even more likely. For example, the chances of a motorcyclist being hit by a driver or involved in a crash may be higher during Thanksgiving and other holidays that are right around the corner. If you are hit by a reckless driver during the holidays, you should go over all of your rights immediately.

Why are the holidays dangerous, anyway? First of all, many people drink alcohol at family celebrations and later get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, this behavior remains far too common even though many awareness campaigns have aimed to prevent drunk driving. Aside from intoxication, there are other reasons why the holidays can be especially dangerous. For example, certain roads might become particularly busy and people may be experiencing other issues that could have a negative impact on their ability to drive properly, such as sleep deprivation or stress.

Teenage drivers causing rear end accidents because of distraction

Statistics pointing to the problem of distracted driving are staggering -- especially when they relate to teenage drivers. According to one study, approximately three-fourths of rear-end accidents caused by teens were the result of the teen getting distracted. Common distractions were passengers and smartphones.

There's a need for more education regarding distracted driving and teenagers. But where do we start?

Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson & Covelli

Allenhurst Office
301 Main Street
Suite 3
Allenhurst, New Jersey 07711

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Bayonne, New Jersey 07002
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367 Rt. 9 North
Bayville, NJ 08721
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Phone: 732-663-1920
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