Personal Injury Lawyer Millburn, New Jersey

Motorcycle Accidents: The High Stakes of Injuries

A motorcycle lies on its side after being hit by a car.

New Jersey drivers need to share the road with bikers

May means the beginning of the peak riding season in New Jersey, and we can all expect to see more motorcycles on the road. Unfortunately, that also means there is a greater risk of serious injuries in motorcycle accidents. In 2021, 98 motorcycle riders and passengers were killed on New Jersey roads, the highest total in over a decade, according to New Jersey State Police data.

We're participating in Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month because we know how high the stakes are. We've represented numerous injured bikers and their families, and we understand the effects a serious injury can have on your future. Here's what New Jersey bikers and motorists need to know.

The high stakes in motorcycle crashes

Because bikers do not have the protection provided by a car or truck, they are at high risk of injury, even with protective gear such as helmets. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an astounding 80% of motorcycle accidents result in injury or death, compared to just 20% of passenger vehicle accidents. Riders are four times as likely to be injured and about 28 times as likely to be killed as occupants of passenger vehicles.

Unfortunately, motorcycle crashes often cause severe and disabling injuries, such as:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) - even with a helmet, the impact of a motorcycle crash can cause concussions and other types of brain injuries that can have debilitating effects.
  • Spinal cord injury (SCI) - damage to the spine can cause permanent paralysis, loss of bladder and bowel function, and other life-altering symptoms.
  • Loss of limbs - motorcycle accidents sometimes cause severe damage to the arms or legs that requires amputation.
  • Biker's arm - a type of nerve injury in the arm or shoulder caused by falling on the arm, which can lead to permanent loss of use of the limb.
  • Road rash - a severe skin injury caused by contact with the road, which may require skin grafts and reconstructive surgery. There is also a significant risk of infection.
  • Internal injuries - even if the biker appears unscathed on the outside, motorcycle crashes can cause life-altering internal organ damage.

Given these risks, it is critical that motorists do their part to share the road and avoid causing motorcycle accidents.

Motorcycle safety tips

While road safety is a shared responsibility, the greater responsibility falls on the driver of the larger vehicle. Motorists can avoid causing motorcycle collisions by:

  • Avoiding distractions - the single most common contributing factor in fatal motorcycle crashes in New Jersey, according to the NJSP data, is driver inattention. Motorists need to put their phones down, avoid other distractions such as eating and drinking behind the wheel, and keep their full focus on driving.
  • Check twice at intersections - intersections are hotspots for most types of accidents, and bikers are especially vulnerable. Motorists need to check twice for motorcycles before making a left turn and yield to an oncoming bike.
  • Give full lane width when passing - motorcycles may not be as wide as cars, but they still need the full lane to maneuver around obstacles. Maintain a safe distance when passing a motorcycle.
  • Don't follow too closely - because motorcycles have much shorter stopping distances than cars, it's important for motorists to leave at least 4 seconds of following distance to ensure they have time to avoid a rear-end crash.
  • Check blind spots - motorists need to double-check their blind spots before turning or changing lanes to avoid sideswiping a biker or forcing them off the road.

What to do if you've been injured in a motorcycle accident

You need to do three things if you're hurt in a motorcycle accident in New Jersey. The first step is to call 911, remain at the scene, and exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. The second step is to get medical attention as soon as possible, even if you feel fine. And the third step is to talk to a motorcycle accident attorney right away before you talk to the insurance company.

Motorcycle crashes are high-stakes cases, and insurance companies know it. They also know there is a bias against bikers that they can use to their advantage, and they are constantly looking for ways to reduce or eliminate their own liability. If you've been hurt in a motorcycle accident, we can fight for your rights and your interests every step of the way. Contact The Leigh Law Firm, P.C. today for a free consultation. We're based in Essex County and serve injured bikers throughout North Jersey.

Categories: Posts
Free ConsultationContact Us Click Here