New Jersey Winter Weather Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
New Jersey may not get as much snow and ice during the winter months as some other states, but heavy snowstorms and even ice storms are not unheard of. They can strike at any time. Some people think that those who ride motorcycles have them in storage during winter, but that’s not always true.
Many people love riding their bikes all year round, despite the weather outside. For riders who do, it’s important to be even safer while on the roads; it’s just as important for drivers of other vehicles to be on the lookout for bikers. Motorcycle accidents, in most cases, cause serious injury to the motorcycle rider. With winter conditions making things even riskier, accidents tend to increase in severity.
Causes of Winter Weather Motorcycle Accidents
There are common causes of motorcycle accidents no matter the weather: left-hand turns made by other drivers, and drivers simply not seeing motorcycles. But winter brings added dangers to these hazards, and motorcyclists need to know about:
- Slippery roads. Slippery roads are dangerous for any driver in winter weather, but they are a particular cause of concern for those on motorcycles. With only two wheels, motorcyclists do not have as much traction as other vehicles, and the light weight of their bikes makes it even easier to slip and slide on roads covered in ice and snow.
- Potholes. Potholes can pose a threat to motorcycle riders any time of the year, but they are particularly dangerous in the winter months. When potholes are filled with snow, motorcyclists can’t see them and therefore, can’t avoid them. In warmer winter weather, they can fill with water, giving the impression that it’s just a puddle. This false illusion can be dangerous, especially if a motorcyclist is going too fast when he or she hits a pothole.
- Pedestrians. When pedestrians are walking in harsh conditions – cold winds and freezing precipitation – they tend to look down and forget to look where they are going. All drivers, including motorcyclists, need to watch for pedestrians, slow down, and always give them lots of room.
- Sap. Tree sap is something that most people don’t think about when they head out in the winter; and most drivers don’t have to. But for motorcyclists it’s a different story. Trees can get over-sapped during the warmer summer months and when those trees hang over roadways, that sap can fall and freeze. For large vehicles this isn’t an issue, but motorcycles can easily slip and slide on frozen sap.
- Corrosion. Having a poorly maintained bike is asking for trouble, especially during the winter. Salt from the road can cause corrosion on certain motorcycle parts, resulting in the motorcycle breaking down while the rider is driving. To avoid this, salt should always be washed off the bike, and areas that need to be kept dry should be greased to prevent rust from forming.
Caring for Motorcycle Tires in Winter Weather
Tire chains are legal in New Jersey, but they are not advised for motorcycles. This is because if a link breaks, it could interfere with the function of the tires and cause riders to lose control of their bikes. Broken links could also fly up and damage the body of the bike. If this happens in certain areas, the rider could lose control and get into an accident.
But that doesn’t mean that motorcyclists are out of options. Studded tires are also legal in New Jersey, and these can be used on motorcycles. These are the best option for riders who intend to go out in snowy, icy weather.
Legal Help After a New Jersey Winter Motorcycle Accident
Of course, it’s not just motorcyclists who need to be a little more careful in winter; other drivers do, as well. In most motorcycle accidents, during any time of the year, it’s often the other driver who’s at fault.
If you have been injured in an accident and you believe the other driver was negligent, contact one of our New Jersey motorcycle accident attorneys at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., at (609) 240-0040 today. We’ll review your case and fight to get you any compensation you deserve.
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