New Jersey motorcycle riders continue to be involved in many deaths and serious injuries on our densely populated and over crowded roads. As a matter of fact 87 deaths occurred between 2006 and 2007 according to a Trenton Times article which cites recent NJ motorcycle accident statistics from the New Jersey State Police. The good news is motorcycle fatalities decreased 15.5 percent – from 103 to 87. The bad news is 87 fatalities is the second-highest total recorded in the last 12 years. Furthermore, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2005, 27 percent of all fatally injured motorcycle operators had BAC levels of .08 g/dl. Forty-five percent of fatally injured motorcyclists did not wear helmets. Motorcyclists need to be more responsible with how much alcohol they drink and wearing helmets. Those two irresponsible acts can easily be avoided and help lower fatalities. New Jersey compared with recent national statistics has made some positive strides in reducing motorcycle fatalities but 87 deaths is still too many and we have a long way to go.
Who is at fault for this high number of deaths? Both the motorists and motorcyclists are at fault and need to be careful when sharing the road with each other. Motorists need to make sure they double-check their side and rearview mirrors for motorcycles passing by and motorcyclists need to take higher safety precautions when driving on busy roads.
Furthermore, motorcyclists need to become more aware of highway dangers and avoid making poor decisions. An example of a poor decision would be when there is heavy traffic on the roads so a motorcyclist decides they don’t want to wait in traffic so they drive in between lanes. Let’s say one of the cars decided to make a turn, that would put the motorcyclist in danger and at high speeds could result in a serious injury or even death. Motorcyclists do many things to cause their own danger. Other examples are speeding, making sharp turns, and driving too close to cars. Let’s make a better effort to become more aware of dangers and to make better choices.
While motorists make many mistakes on the road nothing is more deadly then a motorcyclist making a mistake. When driving a motorcycle you need to take extra precautions like driving the speed limit and always being aware of your surroundings.
Motorcycle fatalities have gone down statistically but what can we do to further reduce these incidents of serious motorcycle accidents in New Jersey? One idea is to further educate the public. May is now being recognized as the New Jersey Motorcycle Awareness Month in an effort to remind all motorcyclists and motorists to be responsible when sharing the road. Hopefully education will provide awareness of dangers on the road and what precautions drivers can take. Together we can lower the fatality numbers and make the road a safer place.