New Jersey is a fantastic place to explore on two wheels, with lots of natural beauty to enjoy in any season. Whether you prefer the forest, the beach, or the mountains, there are many beautiful, motorcycle-friendly options to choose from. The feeling of freedom found on a motorcycle is like no other, and for those who love it, it is likely a favorite activity.
However, it is important that you follow a few safety tips in order to eliminate as many risks as possible from your journey through New Jersey. Having a pre-ride checklist can ensure you are ready to have the best time out on your ride. As springtime approaches, you might be antsy to hit the road, but making sure you have brushed up on your safety first can be a protection.
Why Safety Is Important
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that some 5,579 motorcyclists were killed in 2020. The NHTSA also reports that, per vehicle miles traveled in 2020, motorcyclists were about 28 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and 4 times more likely to be injured.
We know that you want to enjoy your motorcycle season to the max. Therefore, safety should be at the forefront of any planned motorcycle trip in order to prevent unnecessary injuries.
The best way to prevent accidents and injuries is to start by ensuring that you operate your motorcycle as safely as possible. Check out the following safety tips and guidelines for ideas on how to ensure that your next motorcycle ride goes off without a hitch.
What to Do Before Your Ride
Ahead of time, it is important that you plan your route, check your bike, think about supplies, and prepare your passenger, if necessary. There are several things that go into each and every one of these steps, so all of this requires some planning and forethought. While you may want to just hop on your bike and go, following these safety checks can make the difference between a safe ride and one that ends in injury or worse.
A safe motorcycle ride starts before you even turn on the vehicle. First things first, check the mechanics of the bike. This means checking the tire pressure, tread depth, and fluid levels, as well as making sure the bike’s controls and indicators are working properly and that it is not in need of a tune-up. If any cargo is to be carried, make sure that it is properly secured and balanced.
Additionally, you need to make sure you have the proper clothing, both protective and warm enough for fast speeds through the elements. The use of an approved helmet, of course, is completely essential and required by law. It is also recommended that you check the weather forecast before your trip to make sure there won’t be any additional hazards encountered during your ride.
If you will have a passenger, he or she also needs the appropriate clothing and helmet. It is also a good idea to make sure he or she knows when and how to mount the motorcycle, how to move during the ride, and where to place hands and feet in order to stay safe. Preparing your passenger can help ensure that you both enjoy the safe motorcycle trip to the fullest extent.
Do’s and Don’ts During Your Ride
What you do while going down the road on a motorcycle can be of utmost importance when maintaining your safety. It is vital that you are properly trained and have the necessary documentation with you, such as your motorcycle permit or driver’s license. There are several other things that you should do and things to avoid to ensure your safety.
Of course, every motorcycle ride has unique circumstances. However, as a general rule, it is important that you DO:
- Ride responsibly
- Know traffic laws
- Obey signs and speed limits
- Leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles
- Yield to pedestrians and other vehicles when appropriate
- Wear reflective clothing
- Use your motorcycle’s headlights at all times
By following these “do’s” you can help protect yourself and those around you on the road.
However, there are also some things to avoid doing while driving a motorcycle through New Jersey safely. Be sure that you DON’T:
- Consistently drive over the speed limit
- Weave in and out of traffic
- Drink and drive
- Forget your helmet and protective gear
By avoiding these behaviors, you don’t cause undue risk to yourself or your passenger.
For example, in 2020, speeding was a factor in 34 percent of motorcycle accident fatalities throughout the United States. In New Jersey, alcohol was a factor in a large number of fatal motorcycle crashes in the year 2020. Of the 76 motorcycle fatalities, 31 percent had a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent, and 19 percent had a blood alcohol level of 0.15 percent, nearly double the legal limit.
While some of these guidelines may seem obvious, it is important that you don’t let overconfidence contribute to your risk of an accident. All riders need to use their A-game for each and every trip in order to protect themselves from injury. Don’t assume that just because you are an experienced rider that these statistics won’t prove true in your case – better safe than sorry!
New Jersey – A Great Place to Ride
Throughout our beautiful state, motorcycle enthusiasts will find many places to explore and discover beautiful scenery, changing landscapes, and unique topography that makes The Garden State such a great place to travel by motorcycle. Some of the best routes to take your next motorcycle trip include Greenwood Lake Turnpike, Wharton State Forest Loop, Route 519, Wanaque Reservoir Loop, and County Road 513.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of driving a motorcycle, and at Judd Shaw Injury Law, we believe that the road should be safe for all vehicles and people who travel throughout New Jersey. If you or your loved one has been hurt in a motorcycle accident due to the action or inaction of another person, you likely feel anxious about your future, whether physical, financial, or emotional.
If you need the help of a personal injury attorney, we welcome your call 24/7 at 1-866-909-6894. We want all our clients who are motorcycle enthusiasts to be able to take safe, fun, and memorable trips through our state. Hopefully, by taking the aforementioned preventative steps, you can decrease your chances of accidents or collisions while increasing your enjoyment.
Content edited by personal injury attorney Judd Shaw. From the beginning, Judd established a set of Core Values laying out the pursuit for excellence in client service. He is a regular host of the Working The Wow podcast, with the belief that providing an exceptional client experience is just as important as delivering a quality service or product. You can find us in Red Bank and Tom‘s River, New Jersey.