Although the number of fatal motorcyclist accidents in New Jersey is on the decline alongside the national trend, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety is reminding both rider and motorists to be mindful of one another - especially in the summer months, to ensure the trend continues.
According to a document provided by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, statistics for U.S. motorcyclist fatalities are projected to be lower for 2013 than in years past – only the second time this decline has been see in reports since 1997.
During an analysis conducted by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA), New Jersey reported 44 preliminary motorcyclist fatalities from January to September 2013 - 21 less than what was reported in 2012.
However, it was also noted in the document that the state has seen relatively unstable numbers over the past ten years. The highest number reaching 99 in 2006 and the lowest down to 57 in 2003.
"While these new numbers are encouraging, the historical data shows that motorcycle safety is still an area of major concern," said Division of Highway Traffic Safety Acting Director Gary Poedubicky in the document. "Given the fluctuations in the numbers, the one real conclusion you can make is that we have a lot more work to do for our motorcyclists."
To ensure that these numbers continue to stay on the decline, Poedubicky offered safety tips for both motorcyclists and motorists:
- Drive defensively, assume motorists do not see you and plan escape routes.
- Make yourself visible by wearing bright colored and reflective clothing
- Do not tailgate – give yourself time and space to react.
- Avoid sudden braking or turning when driving on wet roads or gravel
- Sharing the road will save lives. Motorcyclists and motorists abide by the same traffic laws. To avoid crashes, obey speed laws, warning signs and traffic signals
- Remember that motorcycles are much smaller and maneuver faster than other vehicles, so always check your mirrors twice.
- Be alert for motorcycles – heavy traffic could hide a motorcycle
- Do not tailgate motorcycles, as they require less stopping distance.