A 20-year-old motorcycle passenger died after a July 2012 collision on the Garden State Parkway.

In October 2012, two off-duty Pemberton Township firefighters were killed when thrown from a motorcycle.

The small size, great gas mileage and fun that motorcycles provide attract riders looking for an economical and interesting way to get around. But motorcycles are dangerous and often lead to fatalities.  The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission estimates more than 2,500 motorcycles are involved in accidents each year and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports there were 71 motorcycle fatalities in New Jersey in 2011, up from 2010.

All season danger

It is always better to prevent accidents and injury than to deal with the consequences. With winter comes difficult driving conditions for all motor vehicles, but especially motorcycles. Although few cyclists venture out on snow-covered roads, some do ride on the wet pavement left behind after rain and snow melt. And of course weather in the Garden State is always unpredictable.

Wet or icy roads are a dangerous environment for any motorcyclist.  Hampering vision, traction and comfort, slippery conditions make the already exacting task of safe motorcycle riding even harder.  If you must ride your motorcycle during the colder months, consider these tips:

  • Reduce your speed: Like all vehicles in inclement weather, a motorcycle is safer when you take it slow.
  • Dress right: From helmet to boots, proper gear is important. Wear an approved safety helmet and brightly colored jacket to allow motorists to see you clearly. Heavy leather jackets and pants protect your skin from abrasions should you crash
  • Stay away: Steer clear of oily residue, standing water, ice or wet metal surfaces

Watch the forecast and watch your driving.  But if you do have an accident caused by the negligence of another driver, contact an experienced accident attorney for skilled legal representation.