New Jersey Man Dies in Motorcycle Accident
A 63-year-old resident of Blairstown Township, NJ, died this week after his Harley Davidson motorcycle collided with a car driven by a teenager that turned in front of him on Route 94, near the intersection with Route 605.
The crash threw Steven Ruzicka onto a grass berm, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to a 2010 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of motorcyclist crash-related fatalities has more than doubled during the past 10 years. Motorcycle use is increasing, in part due to increased traffic and the rising cost of gasoline.
Motorcycle accidents can happen because of driver errors, bad weather, mechanical problems, and other causes. Motorcycle accidents are more likely to result in serious injuries or death than accidents involving cars and trucks, since motorcycles are less stable than four-wheeled vehicles and offer less protection to riders.
Wearing a helmet is an important way to reduce the risk of serious injury or death due to a motorcycle accident. According to the NHTSA, helmet use increased from 48% of users in 2005 to 67% in 2009. 86% of motorcycle drivers in states like New Jersey that require helmets wear them, versus 55% in states that don’t.
Motorcycle riders in New Jersey must wear helmets designed to ensure a certain amount of protection in the event of an accident. The NHTSA has established standards for motorcycle helmets, and helmets compliant with Department of Transportation (DOT) standards are marked with an identifying sticker. However, motorcycle riders need to be aware that counterfeit stickers are common. DOT-compliant helmets must cover the motorcyclist’s ears or be at least one inch thick.
Buying a used helmet is often a bad idea, as it may be worn out or damaged. Helmets include a layer of polystyrene enclosed in a hard outer shell.
If the polystyrene is already compressed, because the rider wore it in an accident, then it will not protect your head properly. Also, polystyrene becomes brittle over time, making it less effective in absorbing the impact from a collision. The heat of the sun and proximity to the motorcycle’s gas tank can also cause helmet damage.
If you or a family member or friend have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the New Jersey Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C.