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Rising Gas Costs Tied to Increase in Motorcycle Injuries and Deaths

Motorcycle riderAccording to reports from the Federal Highway Authority, about 2,500 motorcycles are involved in serious accidents on New Jersey’s roads every year. Those numbers are likely to increase thanks to rising gas prices, which have spurred more Americans to find economical modes of transportation.

In a recent study, head researcher He Zhu concludes that the number of motorcycle accidents is inherently connected to surging gas prices, along with other economic factors. The study looked at motorcycle injury rates and fatalities in California from 2002 through 2011, drawing on data from California’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Record.

The study team from University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Public Health determined that motorcycle deaths and serious personal injuries in the state were ”highly correlated with increasing gasoline prices from 2002 to 2011.” After reviewing data, Zhu found that motorcycle accidents jumped a whopping 34 percent in 2008, which shows a strong correlation to inflation-adjusted gasoline costs over the previous six years.

Surging gas prices relates to increasing numbers of motorcycle accidents

The study’s findings indicate that between 2002 and 2011 at least 800 motorcycle accident deaths and 10,290 injuries were likely attributed to surging gasoline prices in California. “Aside from mandatory helmet laws and their enforcement, other strategies may include raising risk awareness of motorcyclists and investment in public transportation as an alternative transportation modality to motorcycling,” Zhu stated in his study, which was published in the journal Injury Prevention.

Before the recent drop in gas prices nationwide, thousands of vehicle owners looked for alternative modes of transport for the sheer purpose of gas savings. Considering a well-maintained motorcycle can get 65 mpg versus 20-30 mpg for the average fuel-economy car, it’s an obvious choice. However, according to NJ public safety data, some 90 percent of the state’s riders who are involved in accidents have no formal training in traffic safety.

As New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyers at Eisbrouch Marsh know all too well, catastrophic injuries are nearly inevitable when bikers fail to wear a helmet or follow other safety precautions on the road.

To avoid personal injury, it’s best to:

  • Avoid riding when you’re tired or have consumed alcohol
  • Drive defensively at all times
  • Ensure your motorcycle has anti-lock brakes (ABS system)
  • Take motorcycle safety courses
  • Wear your helmet and protective gear
  • Wear bright colored clothing or a vest to make yourself visible
  • Never tailgate
  • Adjust speeds when driving on poor roads or in bad weather

Legal recourse available to victims of negligence

Sadly, it may often be the the case that a law-abiding biker is struck by another motorist who failed to yield, or look before changing lanes. Types of injuries sustained in these types of motorcycle-vehicle accidents are generally life-threatening in nature. Spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries and broken bones are not uncommon.

If you were harmed in a motorcycle crash or lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, you need a legal team who is seasoned in personal injury law, and who will fight for a fair settlement or court award on your behalf. To find out if you have a valid claim for damages, or can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, please Call Eisbrouch Marsh at 202-342-5545 for a free case evaluation. Our lawyers represent clients in Hackensack, Bergen County and Northern New Jersey, in addition to the NYC metropolitan area.

  1. Injury Prevention, Relationship between gasoline price and patterns of motorcycle fatalities and injuries http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/early/2014/11/04/injuryprev-2014-041314
  2. NJ.gov, Motorcycle Safety Resources http://www.nj.gov/lps/hts/motorcycle/
  3. State Police New Jersey, Fatal Motorcycle Accidents, http://www.njsp.org/info/fatalacc/spec_c.html