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Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC
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New Jersey Motorcyclists Should Be Especially Vigilant When Riding Season Begins

To many motorcyclists, few things are more enjoyable than getting the bike out after a rough winter. Unfortunately, other drivers are not immediately aware that they now share the roads with small, vulnerable vehicles. A collision may point to the legal fault of the other motorist, but this fact provides little comfort to a motorcyclist who suffers severe injuries.

Even in temperate climates where motorcycles occupy the roads throughout the year, other drivers fail to consciously watch for motorcycles around them — or even yield right-of-way at four-way stops. However, drivers in cold climate areas are even less likely to consider bikes once the temperatures begin to warm in the spring. This is why the American Motorcyclist Association designated the month of May as Motorcycle Awareness Month and considers it one of the most important months for the safety of all motorists.

Motorcycle riders need to recognize that in spite of the law, it’s important to take proactive measures to avoid an accident, including the following:

  • Remain visible during the day by wearing bright clothing and using reflective strips that catch lights at night.
  • Do not expect any vehicle to yield right-of-way. Allow other motorists to proceed unless you make eye contact or otherwise know they plan to let you through.
  • Recognize that all cars have blind spots that prevent them from seeing even larger vehicles. Maintain a position where you can be seen.

Similarly, it is essential to be proactive when it comes to protecting yourself in the event that a motorcycle accident occurs. Wear helmets and other protective clothing to reduce the likelihood of serious injury, and considering carrying a first-aid kit designed specifically for use by bikers. You should also understand that public attitudes toward motorcycles can work against you when filing an insurance claim or taking other legal action to pursue compensation. An attorney with specific experience within this area of personal injury law can explain your legal options and protect your rights.

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