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New Jersey winters present added dangers for motorcyclists

We all know that New Jersey winters can be brutal. They can be particularly difficult for people who ride motorcycles, whether to commute or for recreation. Snow, ice, wind and sub-zero temperatures can make a motorcycle ride an unpleasant and possibly dangerous experience.

Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to protect yourself and your bike from the elements. Warm, waterproof clothing, gloves and footwear are a must. So is special equipment like wind guards and heated grips. Proper maintenance of tires and hoses is key.

Once you’re out on the road, you need to take extra precautions to stay safe. Remember that snowy, wet weather and icy roads are dangerous for cars and trucks as well. Even cautious drivers can lose control. Unfortunately, cyclists bear the brunt of the damage and injury in car vs. motorcycle collisions. Here are some important things to keep in mind when riding in winter:

— Increase your following distance behind vehicles.

— Look further down the road for potential hazards.

— Watch out for new cracks in the road caused by snowplows.

— Be careful on roads that have been salted. Salt can be as dangerous as ice to drive on, and it can take its toll on a motorcycle if not regularly washed off.

— If snow is in the forecast, choose another mode of transportation or stay put. We all know how quickly snow can accumulate on New Jersey roads.

— Look out for black ice, which can form on wet roads when the temperature reaches 32 degrees or below. If you hit a patch, or someone else on the road does, it can be deadly.

No matter how many precautions motorcyclists take and how safely they ride, they are nearly always at the mercy of the larger vehicles around them. Many people assume that if a motorcyclist is involved in a crash, he or she must have been doing something careless or reckless, but that’s simply not the case.

That’s why anyone who has been injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused — even in part — by the actions of a car or truck driver would benefit from legal guidance. A personal injury attorney who has experience with motorcycle accidents can work to dispel those prejudices against motorcyclists and help you get the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages and other damages.

Source: Ultimate Motorcycling, “7 Tips for Winter Motorcycle Riding,” Ron Lieback, accessed Sep. 14, 2015

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