At this time of the year, many people are out enjoying their favorite warm weather activities before hunkering down for another long winter. One such activity enjoyed by thousands of people across the state of New Jersey is cruising on their motorcycles, which gives them the freedom of the open road and the chance to take in the sights in an entirely different manner. The unfortunate truth is that while motorcycle riding is undoubtedly a fun and energizing pastime, it is also extremely dangerous. To illustrate just how dangerous it can be, consider recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on motorcycle accidents:
  • Approximately 4,612 motorcyclists were killed on U.S. roads in 2011, a two percent increase from the 2010
  • Despite accounting for only 3 percent of all vehicles in the nation, motorcycle fatalities accounted for 14 percent of total traffic fatalities in 2011
  • Motorcyclists are over 30 times more likely to die in a crash than car occupants and five times more likely to suffer serious personal injuries
Tragically, a motorcycle accident took the life of a New Jersey man out for a ride with his daughter this past weekend. According to reports, the 76-year-old man and his adult daughter were each riding their motorcycles through Haverstraw, New York, at around 11:30 a.m. yesterday morning. For reasons as yet undetermined, the man -- who was wearing a helmet -- suddenly lost control of his bike and crashed head-on into a 20-foot-tall brick roadside sign. Emergency personnel evacuated the man to a nearby hospital where he eventually died of serious head injuries and internal trauma. Serious motorcycle accidents like these only serve to underscore just how important it is that motorcyclists always wear the necessary safety gear, as it can often make a significant difference. For instance, even though the man in the aforementioned accident was wearing a helmet, the NHTSA indicates that helmets saved the lives of over 1,600 people in 2011 and are 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries. Source: The Journal News, "Haverstraw, Bear Mountain Parkway motorcycle crashes claim lives," Yaron Steinbuch, September 15, 2013