Tips for staying safe on motorcycles

Before going on a ride, motorcyclists should get familiar with their bike, put on the right gear and double-check the rules to increase their safety.

When a New Jersey resident heads out on his or her motorcycle, the biker likely does not expect to be involved in an accident. However, the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety states that a motorcyclist is 28 times more likely to be killed in a vehicle collision. Over half of the accidents involving a motorcycle and another vehicle take place in an intersection, and the incidents usually occur because the other driver did not see the biker. When a motorbike rider is involved in an accident, the person has an 82% chance of being hurt, which is why being proactive about safety is so important.

Get familiar with the bike

Before heading out for a ride, anyone hoping to operate a motorcycle needs to make sure they know what they are doing. This means going through training, getting a license and having at least some familiarity with the equipment. If a biker knows what a fully functioning motorcycle looks like, he or she will be able to tell if there is something wrong with a hose, driveshaft or another element of the vehicle before getting on the road. Part of staying safe means doing a pre-trip check on the motorcycle to ensure it is equipped and running as it should be.

Know what to wear

Not only should a rider double-check his or her bike before going on a trip, but it is important for the motorcyclist to wear the correct safety gear as well. The state requires motorcyclists to wear an approved helmet, but other protective clothing can play an important role in safety, too. Bikers may want to wear eye protection, riding boots, gloves, pants and a jacket to make sure their bodies are as protected as possible.

Follow the rules

Anyone using the roadways needs to follow the traffic laws. Because of the increased vulnerability of motorcyclists, they may want to be extra cautious by doing the following:

  • Using turn signals.
  • Giving up the right-of-way.
  • Staying to the right in the marked driving lane.
  • Keeping an appropriate following distance.

While it is difficult to do, motorcyclists should truly try to be prepared for the unexpected. This could mean preparing for other drivers to do something that puts a biker at risk. When a motorcyclist is prepared for the worst, he or she has a better chance of reacting swiftly to a potential collision.

Not all New Jersey motorbike riders will be involved in a traffic accident. However, if someone does get hurt or killed in a motorcycle-related crash, it may be beneficial to work with an attorney familiar with this type of personal injury case.