As a New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer, I’ve come to realize that riding a motorcycle is all about risk and reward. The risks we take riding our bikes is well worth the reward as long as we are smart in our decision making. Some of the risk has to do with things that are out of our control, while some is well within our control.
Control is an Illusion
Some would say control is an illusion. True enough. So, I’ll couch this as “some control” and try to keep this to clearly defined areas. First, I’ll review things about riding in which you have a degree of control.
Here are the things that you have some control:
- How much and what kind of insurance you have purchased. Be sure to purchase equal amounts of uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. This is often where the settlement money comes from if you are involved in a motorcycle accident.
- Your mental and physical condition. Are you intoxicated? Angry? Rushed? Any of these states can drastically affect the risk of your safe return. I don’t think I need to remind you to not drink and drive. Also, when you are angry you are not focused on safety.
- The way you drive. You are in control of how fast or slow, reckless or careful, defensive or freewheeling, you drive. You know how to drive safe. You don’t want to be the cause of your own accident.
- The condition of your cycle. I’ve written about motorcycle maintenance in the past, and how important it is for safety.
- The conditions you choose to begin your ride. Sure weather can change in a hurry, but when you start out on a ride, is it raining? daylight? night? if night, is it evening, or when the bars are letting out?
- The attorney you choose to represent you. The right NJ motorcycle accident lawyer can make a difference in how amenable the insurance company is to settle your claim. I hope you will choose me, as a fellow rider, and as a well qualified, experienced, specialist in my field.
Appreciate and carefully administer those things in which you have control to minimize your risk and maximize your reward. Good decision making can keep you safe.
This is not to say a motorcycle accident is your fault if you make a questionable call in these areas! This is only to point out the elements in your realm of control.
The Flip Side
On the flip side, some things are out of your control that can create more risk. These are a few of the thousands of things you cannot control:
- The weather. Bad weather conditions affect both the physics of driving and the mental awareness of drivers. When the weather is bad, maybe it’s time to stay off the road with your cycle.
- Other people on the road. You have no way of even knowing, much less controlling other drivers that you will be sharing the road with. This is a particularly scary thought when driving on a winding road with blind spots. So all I have to add is be a defensive driver when on your bike.
- Wildlife. I just wrote about a motorcycle accident death attributed to a deer. Be vigilant when riding in rural and forested areas.
- Road conditions. Poorly maintained roads are often the cause of motorcycle accidents. You have no way of knowing what is around the next corner, so keep sharp and slow down at the first sign of any road problems, whether it be maintenance or weather related.
- Insurance coverage of the other driver. You would probably be shocked to know how many people are driving around without adequate insurance to cover your injuries. You can’t control this, and the NJ state government can’t either, although they have tried. As I’ve noted above, it is up to you to purchase UM and UIM insurance to cover yourself in the event the other driver has inadequate insurance. Call me at 1-888-292-5352 (888-cycle-law) for recommendations.
- Your insurance company’s actions/reactions. Your insurance agent is always your friend until his company tells him to screw you over. Interactions with insurance agencies can get ugly and stressful. That is one reason it is a good idea to hire me as your mouthpiece, to handle negotiations on your behalf. You’ll be glad you did.
The things you cannot control are often the things that end up causing the most risk. Yet, as I stated, control is an illusion, so we move forward the best we can and deal with life as it comes.
Free Motorcycle Accident Consultations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania
If you were involved in a Pennsylvania or New Jersey motorcycle accident this year and have unresolved issues, or if you selected a lawyer who is not a motorcycle accident lawyer, who you are not happy with, please feel free to call me at 888-cycle-law.
I hope you have a safe and happy holiday season.