Motorcycle safety education

To the Editor:
Motorcycle awareness seems to be the talk of the town, but what about motorcycle safety education? There are two sides to every coin. As per, every year more than 25,000 motorcycles are involved in crashes on New Jersey roads. Many of these crashes are caused by the motorcyclist’s inexperience and lack of proper training. In fact, 90 percent of riders who get into crashes have no formal training. They either taught themselves or learned from a friend. Studies show that riders with certified training have far fewer accidents, and when accidents do occur, trained riders suffer fewer injuries.
According to the Office of the Attorney General, motorcycle crash facts show that with motorcycle crashes that involve other vehicles, more than half occur at intersections, and more than two-thirds result from excessive speed.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that motorcyclists must ride aware, know their limits, and ride within them. They must also be aware of and understand their motorcycle’s limitations and the environment in which they ride. Experienced motorcyclists often have this advice for new riders: “Assume that you are invisible to other motorists and operate your motorcycle accordingly.” Position yourself to be seen. Ride in the portion of the lane where it is most likely that you will be seen by other motorists. Avoid the car’s blind spot. Use your headlights day and night. Avoid excessive noise by leaving the stock muffler in place. The practices of some riders are offensive to other motorists, such as weaving in and out of stalled traffic and riding on shoulders. Being inconsiderate of other motorists creates a negative image for all riders and can cause crashes. Sharing the road will save lives. We all need to know how to take care of ourselves and respect others on the road. Motorcyclists and motorists abide by the same traffic laws.


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