Motorcyclists Face Higher Collision Risks in New Jersey
While motorcycle accident deaths declined across the country in 2017, the latest available year of statistics, they continued to rise in New Jersey. In fact, motorcycle crash fatalities increased by 15 percent over that one year. Many of these collisions are caused by other drivers, and you can work with a New Jersey motorcycle injury lawyer to protect yourself in case of a crash.
Threats to Motorcyclists on NJ Streets
Across the country, 40,100 people lost their lives in traffic accidents in 2017. Of those, 4,798 were killed in motorcycle collisions, marking a downward trend from the prior year when 5,251 motorcyclists were killed. This marked an overall 8.6 percent decrease in fatalities related to motorcycle crashes.
However, New Jersey joined 17 other states as an outlier. In 2017, 80 people were killed in motorcycle accidents, which was an increase of 11 of the prior year. This perhaps comes as no surprise since 2017 was the deadliest year for NJ traffic accidents overall, taking 625 lives.
Causes of New Jersey Motorcycle Accidents
There are several factors that could account for this increase. Moreover, the statistics don't tell the whole story. While they focus on fatalities, many more motorcyclists are injured, often seriously. An increasing number of older bikers are on the road, safety spokespeople said, because people who are middle-aged also enjoy the hobby.
While these bikers may be safe drivers, they may be more physically vulnerable to the effects of a collision. In addition, motorcyclists face an increased threat from other drivers on the road. There are more cars, bigger vehicles and an increased number of distracted drivers whose eyes and minds are on their smartphones rather than the road.
Distracted driving is of particular concern to motorcyclists because people who are distracted behind the wheel may be even less likely to see a motorcycle while sending a text or surfing the internet. Other common situations involved in NJ motorcycle crashes include:
- Cars making left-hand turns and hitting motorcyclists
- Motorcyclists "splitting lanes" during traffic jams
- Roadway hazards and dangers, like potholes and uneven paving
- Car drivers not seeing motorcyclists at night, especially when speeding
- Motorcycle equipment defects
Since motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles and leave their riders more exposed, motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to die in a crash and five times more likely to sustain serious injuries than the drivers of other vehicles. These injuries can lead to mounting medical bills and other costs, and a motorcycle injury attorney in NJ can help you protect yourself.
Protecting Yourself After an NJ Motorcycle Accident
If you've been injured in a motorcycle crash in New Jersey, the most important thing to do is get to safety and seek medical attention. If you're able to do so, call the police and get the other driver's insurance information. Even if you're well enough to get back on your bike and drive away, it's important to seek medical attention quickly to document any injuries that may have been caused by an accident.
When you turn to your insurance company to file a claim, you may find recalcitrance on the part of your or the other driver's insurer to pay out your claim. The insurance company might minimize your injuries or even seek to shift blame to you.
Initial settlement offers from insurance companies are usually lower than they should be. They may not even cover the full costs that you have faced as a result of a crash, taking into account your pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills and other damages caused by the collision.
Contact an NJ Motorcycle Crash Attorney
If you've been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in New Jersey, you can get help to protect yourself and pursue the compensation you deserve by working with an experienced New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer. Contact the Law Office of Jerry Friedman at 1 (800) LAW-4-HOGS (1-800-529-4464) to schedule a free consultation with a skilled motorcycle injury attorney in NJ who can explore your rights and pursue your demands with the insurance company.