In New Jersey and many other parts of the Northeast, the weather is beginning to warm up and motorcycle enthusiasts are dreaming of spring. Warmer weather comes with an influx of motorcyclists, and this in turn leads to serious crashes. If you are a biker, you should understand the risks you face when you ride with motor vehicle traffic.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 62 motorcyclist deaths in New Jersey in 2014. On a motorcycle, you are far more at risk of being severely injured or dying in a crash with another vehicle. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcyclists made up over 26 times the fatalities per mile traveled than those who were killed in passenger vehicles in 2013. One of the main reasons you are at such a risk is the lack of protection afforded on a bike, even while wearing a helmet. You are highly likely to be thrown from your motorcycle in a crash. Cars, on the other hand, offer safety in terms of seatbelts, airbags, braking and stability technology and the structure of the vehicle body.
In motorcycle crashes involving two or more vehicles, you are the most likely to be in an accident when a driver is turning left onto the road while you are going straight. This is probably because motorcycles are smaller and tend to be quick in comparison with passenger vehicles, so the driver may not see you coming. Other common accidents involve motorcycles or cars overtaking each other or passing in adjacent lanes. Drivers often fail to look for motorcycles before changing lanes.
You may not be able to change or predict another driver’s behavior, but understanding and being prepared for the risks may help save your life.