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Can fatal motorcycle accidents be prevented?

If you are one of the hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts traveling on New Jersey roads, you may know that the thrill of riding can sometimes be overshadowed by safety concerns. Even though you may be the most knowledgeable, careful and vigilant motorcyclist out there, your life can still be endangered by the distraction or carelessness of other drivers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association lists many valuable suggestions to help you avoid involvement in a fatal motorcycle accident. These include the following:

  • Receive proper licensure to legally operate your motorcycle. Keep registration and insurance information up to date.
  • Take the time to read your owner’s manual to understand the specifications of your bike and how to safely operate it. This booklet can also provide helpful safety tips if you are in a compromising circumstance, as well as important maintenance suggestions.
  • Follow all traffic rules, drive the speed limit and be aware of your surroundings. Even though you see other drivers, they are sometimes completely unaware of you.
  • Invest in and wear proper protective gear. Must-haves include a helmet, eyewear, gloves, jacket, appropriate footwear and high quality trousers that are slim-fitting to prevent entanglement with components of your bike.
  • If you are new to motorcycling, take your bike to a safe place where you can practice maneuvering it. Become familiar with its weight, speed performance and operational gears. Make sure you are comfortable using appropriate hand signals (if needed) before venturing onto a public road.
  • If you are carrying a passenger, use extra precaution and make sure the rider follows safety protocols including wearing the right clothing and gear. Realize that the added weight of a passenger could feel different and require added attention to driving and maneuvering.

Because 80 percent of motorcycle accidents end in injury or death, your vigilance could be the difference between walking away from an accident and never riding again. The information in this article is to be used as an educational resource only and not interpreted as legal advice.

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