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Motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians: Stay safe this summer

When the weather warms in New Jersey during the summer months, the bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists come out to play. Sunny days create the perfect backdrop to outdoor activities and hardly anyone can resist going outside to enjoy the the great outdoors. The problem is, many of these outdoor activities -- like motorcycling, bicycling and walking -- involve sharing the road with dangerous vehicles.

There are several things that motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians can do to stay as safe as possible. Follow these tips and you just might avoid getting hurt:

Motorcyclists

Motorcyclists need to be as predictable as possible on the road. Sudden, unexpected movements are a recipe for disaster and could result in a collision with a vehicle. Rather than "aggressively," motorcyclists need to think "defensively."

Slowing down is another excellent strategy to give yourself more control and time to react to various conditions you encounter on the road. Considering the fact that 33 percent of motorcyclists who died in crashes in 2015 were speeding at the time of the collision, slowing down could be the most important thing that any motorcyclist does.

Bicyclists

Bicyclists need to start thinking and acting like cars. Vehicles tend to drive in a more predictable fashion than bikes by following traffic laws more closely. This means, stopping at stop signs, signaling to turn, avoiding sudden movements and following other rules of the road.

Bicyclists should also wear a helmet, as it's the easiest thing they can do to be dramatically safer. Cyclists might also want to avoid riding at night because that's when the most fatal bike crashes occur.

Pedestrians

Pedestrians should consider several simple things to stay safer during the summer months. For one, they should avoid using a smartphone while crossing the street. They should especially avoid using earphones. This will help them stay more alert to avoid cars. They should also avoid walking on roadways after drinking. In 2015, 46 percent of the pedestrians who died in car crashes had a blood alcohol content level higher than .08.

Are you going to be as safe as possible this summer?

Whether your favorite activity involves bicycling, walking or motorcycling, do your best to take care of yourself on the road. If -- in spite of your best efforts -- a negligent driver hurts you, consider standing up for your legal rights by holding the at-fault driver responsible in court.

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