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Motorcycles travel the same roads and highways as other vehicles and are subject to the same hazards. When a motorcycle gets into an accident; however, the results can be exponentially worse than an accident involving cars or trucks. Automobile drivers have a steel frame and innumerable safety features such as seat belts and airbags to protect them in case of an accident.
Motorcycle drivers are much more vulnerable, and are 35 percent more likely to sustain fatal injuries during an accident than other drivers. That is why it is imperative that you contact one of our South Jersey injury lawyers if you have been involved in any kind of incident.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles and face a unique set of risks including:
- Adverse road conditions: cars can easily adjust to potholes, uneven roads, debris, or slippery surfaces, but these conditions can easily cause a motorcycle to lose control
- Decreased visibility: motorcycles can be difficult to see, particularly at intersections, which makes it harder for cars to avoid them
- Instability: vehicles with only two wheels can be harder to control, especially when adjusting to sudden stops or changes in flow of traffic
- Lack of safety features: motorcycle drivers often have only a helmet and the clothes they are wearing to soften the impact of an accident
- Risky behaviors: speeding, lane sharing, and other dangerous driver behaviors can disproportionately affect motorcycles
Motorcycle Accident Prevention
There are steps that motorcycle drivers can take to minimize the risk of an accident. Motorcyclists in New Jersey are required to wear a non-reflective helmet with four inches of reflective tape on both sides. If the helmet does not have a windscreen, drivers must also wear either goggles or a face shield. Motorcycle drivers should also wear well-fitting personal protective equipment such as leather riding suits that can minimize the risk of “road rash.” Their clothing should not have any loose fabric that could get caught in gears and should incorporate bright colors to increase visibility.
Motorcycle drivers must have a valid New Jersey motorcycle license, and their vehicles must be insured to be taken on the road. New Jersey also requires regular inspections to ensure that the motorcycle is operating properly and meets specifications set out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Who is Responsible for a Motorcycle Accident
Most accidents involving motorcycles are not caused by motorcyclists. These accidents are typically caused by car or truck drivers who are not paying attention to their surroundings. Automobile drivers must follow all traffic regulations and check for the presence of other vehicles including motorcycles. If they fail to do so, they may be liable for any injuries that occur as a result of an accident.
In some cases, the motorcycle itself may be the cause of the accident. If the parts are defective or assembled incorrectly, the motorcycle may fail while it is on the road. There may also be flaws in the design of the motorcycle, which can put drivers at risk.
All drivers have a responsibility to exhibit safe driving behaviors, but the stakes are even higher when motorcycles are involved. According to the NHTSA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 80 percent of motorcycle accidents result in serious or fatal injuries. The number of deaths resulting from motorcycle accidents has also been on the rise, doubling in the span of a decade.
How Our New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Can Help You
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, it is important to thoroughly document both the circumstances of the accident and the nature of the injuries. It can be difficult to prove liability in these cases, but having complete and accurate information can help establish who is at fault. It is also crucial to have an experienced South Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer by your side to review your legal options.
Our South Jersey accident lawyers have the knowledge and experience to help you with your motorcycle accident case. We will thoroughly review the facts of your case to determine who is at fault and prepare an aggressive legal strategy to hold them accountable. Our professional, dedicated legal team can help you get the maximum settlement possible to cover costly medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.