If you ride a motorcycle, you know the joy and sense of freedom it can bring, but you’ll also want to take extra care to keep yourself safe on the roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash, and four (4) times more likely to be injured, than the occupants of passenger vehicles. In 2019 alone, 84 people were killed in motorcycle accidents on New Jersey roads.
May is Motorcycle Safety Month, which highlights the need for all drivers to be especially aware of motorcycles as well as all vehicles on the roads. With the recent beautiful weather, I’ve seen and heard more motorcycles in the last week than I have in months. Please be especially vigilant and respectful of others as you drive, whether you are on a bike, in a car, or truck.
Carrying sufficient Uninsured and Underinsured coverage on your motorcycle and personal vehicles is less obvious, but just as critical, as having health insurance coverage.
After ensuring that your health insurance policy, will cover any medical treatment for injuries suffered in a crash, check your own vehicle policies to be sure you have sufficient liability, uninsured, and underinsured coverages on your bike and personal vehicles.
Motorcycle riders: please review your health insurance coverages!
Before we ride, we often do a safety check of our bikes. We check brakes, lights, signals, tires, and gas. We make sure the bike is safe before we, and our passengers get on.
What is just as important, but less obvious, are the insurance coverages you should have. I strongly recommend that you make sure you are well protected by your own insurance policies. Having excellent health insurance to cover any medical bills will ensure you are not left owing substantial bills you incur from treatment following a crash.
Our motorcycle accident attorneys wish to remind all drivers to be aware of motorcyclists. Be mindful that the warm weather means more motorcycle riders will be taking trips to the shore, countryside, or mountains. Due to the increase in motorcyclists on the road, May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
Consequently, it is a great time for all drivers to remind themselves to be extra safe while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle deaths occur 27 times more frequently than fatalities in other motor vehicles. Motorcycle accidents most often occur because other vehicle drivers are not paying 100 percent attention to driving. They are not looking at everything that is going on around them and they too often take their eyes off the road ahead for a second or more.
Join Stark & Stark Motorcycle Attorneys Chris Pyne, Joel Rosenberg, Deborah Dunn and Domenic Sanginiti, along with a representative from ProRider®, as they answer questions you may have about the differences between an automobile policy and a motorcycle policy as well as carrying proper and adequate insurance coverage. ProRider® will talk about how to apply tried and true riding techniques that are guaranteed to improve your riding ability and riding confidence. Click here for more information.
Visit Stark & Stark and the ProRider representative for the free presentation. The dates and times for the sessions are below.
Friday, September 11, 2015
1:00 PM • 3:00 PM
Saturday, September 12, 2015
11:00 AM • 1:00 PM • 2:00 PM
Another brutal winter has resulted in minefields of potholes on our roadways. As the weather warms and we unplug our battery tenders to take to the highways, there are serious dangers lurking for the unwary. Riders always ride with a level of concentration greater than those operating cars – and we must. One of the challenges with potholes is that they can be difficult to spot until it’s too late. Obviously the greatest danger is at night when they are the most difficult to see. Even when using the utmost caution during the daytime, sunlight, shading and traffic can obscure the danger.
Pothole accidents can and do cause serious injury. What makes those accidents even worse is the difficulty riders have in getting fairly compensated for their property damage and bodily injury. As motorcycle attorneys, we have in the past and currently have these types of cases in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Both states have Tort Claim immunities that effect a riders right of recovery against the State to be compensated. One of the most urgent issues involved in these cases is proper notice to the state after an accident known as a Tort Claim Notice. If these notices are not timely filed, a rider can lose all rights to make a claim. In addition, early investigation to document the condition of the roadway that caused the accident is vitally important in protecting the rights of an injured rider. If you or someone you know was injured in an accident caused by a defective roadway, don’t hesitate to call us at 855-BIKELAW for a free consultation.
Fall is here. The leaves are just starting to change and we had our first rainy day in a long time. The days are still warm and inviting to riders to get out and enjoy a nice ride, but with autumn comes new hazards to motorcyclists. Obviously, wet leaves, slippery roads and objects or potholes hidden by fallen leaves are a danger to us. But, something we don’t necessarily consider is the change in lighting conditions. As the days get shorter riders should be aware that low light presents an additional hazard. Not only are bikers harder to see but we will have a more difficult time seeing potential hazards in or on the road ahead. For those of us who love taking a ride after work to wind down please be particularly mindful of this since we probably do not realize how dim the lighting actually is or how quickly it gets dimmer.
The best option is to ride more slowly than you would in bright daylight. This will give you more time to see and identify potential hazards and will give other drivers a greater opportunity to see and identify you. You also will give yourself more time to react should something happen. Remind yourself before you ride of the change in daylight conditions and adjust your driving accordingly. If you are unfamiliar with the road ahead, or if you know there are curves or hills coming up, reduce your speed so you can clearly identify any hazards common in autumn and low light conditions and give yourself plenty of time to avoid them.
You might also consider wearing more visible clothing and helmets. I understand that white helmets are much more visible than black and a lime green or orange reflective jacket will make you much more apparent to other drivers.
Finally, remember that the sun rises later and sets earlier than it has the last few months. As the sun gets lower in the sky all drivers have problems with sun glare. Be particularly alert for this in the mornings and evenings as you and the vehicles around you may suddenly round a curve and find yourself looking directly into the sun. Drivers react differently to this sudden blinding glare and you want to be sure to give yourself extra room to maneuver should someone hit their brakes or unexpectedly swerve out of their lane of travel due to the blinding sun.
A great reason to live in this area is the change of seasons, but with each new season comes new hazards to contend with. Please add some of these thoughts to your pre-ride mental checklist and be safe. If you have have any questions, please contact us at Stark & Stark.
I represent many motorcyclists who have been in crashes. Some more serious than others. I’ve been fortunate that, while I’ve had close calls (close enough that my wife won’t get on again), I have not crashed. So I don’t personally know how I’d feel but I’m sure there must be some fear in everyone before they go out for those first few post-accident rides. I found an article on this topic that seems to me to make sense and provide sound advice at RideApart.com.
The author takes us through a number of steps of analysis to help us logically deal with this emotional issue.
- Check your helmet and gear. Helmets are designed to absorb the impact. If your helmet hit the ground you should replace it. Likewise, if your helmet falls off a table and strikes the floor, you should replace it. You may not see internal damage, but I recommend you assume that it absorbed the impact and should be replaced. Your other protective gear should also be checked.
- Check your bike thoroughly. I recommend you have a reputable service technician evaluate your motorcycle completely. You might not notice a subtle but important problem such as a bent fork or frame.
- Assume that you will be nervous for your first ride after a crash. Everyone would be. It is recommended that you plan a short, simple ride when there is little traffic and basic conditions. Many of my clients have great difficulty driving past the scene of their accidents so I recommend you stay clear of that area until you are sure you are emotionally ready. It may be best to take this ride alone but if you ride with a friend be sure your friend knows you are a bit nervous and ask him to follow you or drive more slowly and carefully so you don’t feel pressure to keep up. Try to enjoy the ride, relax and get back into your comfort zone.
- Practice at your own pace and in areas you feel comfortable. Depending on the severity of the crash it may take some time for you to feel comfortable riding again.
Perhaps if you follow this advice your return to the road will be a bit easier and more enjoyable. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Stark & Stark today.
The 23rd Annual International Motorcycle & Scooter Ride to Work Day is June 16, 2014. Ride to Work Day was started in 1992 as a way to raise awareness of the benefits of motorcycling as an alternative mode of transportation. Since 2008 it has been held on the third Monday in June. According to www.ridetowork.org and the Congressional Motorcycle Safety Caucus and other sources, over one million American commuters ride to work that day to publicize the social benefits of motorcycles.
Ride to Work Day is also run in many other countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Slovenia, Israel, Turkey, Ecuador and the Phillipines.
The purpose of the Day is to raise awareness among the public, government and employers of the positive value of using motorcycles and scooters as a regular form of transportation. There are many positive public benefits of riding.
– Reduces traffic and parking congestion
– Consumes far less resources per mile than most other automobiles
– Results in less pollution than commuting in a larger vehicle
– Is less destructive to road surfaces and bridges
– Allows commuters to get to work (and back home) faster
– Helps make people more alert and engaged
– Demonstrates motorcycling as a social good
You can join the United States Congress members of the Congressional Motorcycle Safety Caucus, as well as hundreds of other communities and organizations, along with millions of motorcyclists worldwide in support of Ride to Work Day. Visit the The Ride to Work website www.ridetowork.org for more information.