NJ Prosecutor’s Fatal Crash Shows Dangers Facing Urban Motorcyclists


An assistant Bergen County prosecutor was killed in July 2022 when his motorcycle collided with an SUV at a treacherous crossroads in Hackensack, NJ. The accident is illustrative of the hazards of riding a motorcycle on busy urban roads.

According to news accounts, Avon Morgan’s motorcycle crashed into the SUV, which was making a turn from Railroad Avenue onto Essex Street. There is no signal light at the T-intersection — only a stop sign on Railroad Avenue. The avenue is very wide, with grade-level NJ Transit tracks running down its center. Due to these factors, a car turning from the avenue onto Essex Street faces oncoming traffic and has a limited field of vision, especially as to smaller vehicles like motorcycles that might be approaching.

Riding a motorcycle is inherently more dangerous than operating other types of vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that a motorcycle rider is four times more likely to be injured in a crash than a car passenger and 28 times more likely to die. These statistics are unsurprising given a motorcycle’s small size, light weight and lack of meaningful crash protection.

Despite the risks, avid motorcycle enthusiasts will continue to ride. However, here are some best practices that can help avoid motorcycle accidents:

  • Ride defensively — Motorcyclists should maintain a high degree of situational awareness on the road because drivers of larger vehicles may be inattentive or distracted. Motorcyclists must learn to anticipate the mistakes that motor vehicle operators are likely to make.
  • Wear a helmet — New Jersey law requires a motorcycle rider to wear a proper sized, securely fitted helmet of a type approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation. A helmet significantly improves a rider’s chance of surviving a crash and of lessening any injury from head trauma.
  • Don’t drink and ride — Even moderate amounts of alcohol can seriously affect a person’s judgment and slow reactions. It is important that riders be fully alert and responsive at all times.
  • Don’t speed — Excessive speed gives a motorcyclist less time to react to situations on the road and to avoid collisions. In addition, higher speeds expose motorcyclists to greater force in a crash, making them more likely to die or to suffer serious injury.
  • Avoid weaving and lane splitting — Many collisions between automobiles and motorcycles are due to riders changing lanes or splitting lanes. Motorcycles are light and highly maneuverable, so it is tempting to weave or split lanes in heavy traffic. However, riders should not give into this temptation, since other drivers will not always be aware of motorcycles’ abrupt maneuvers.

Seigel Law in Ridgewood is one of the most experienced personal injury law firms in Northern New Jersey. We help victims of all types of traffic accidents get the maximum compensation available to them. Call us at 201-444-4000 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.

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