When you travel in your car on the same road as a motorcycle, both you and the motorist need to look out for one another. Riding a motorcycle is exciting, but the same feature that give you that rush of excitement (openness and exposure) is the same feature that can put you in great danger of serious injuries. If both the motorcyclist and car driver follow the traffic regulations and driver responsible, safe travel is guaranteed. However, in case the car driver fails to acknowledge the motorcyclist on time or engages in reckless driving, the results can be catastrophic.
If you sustained serious injuries while riding a motorcycle due to negligent and reckless driving of another driver, contact Schenk Podolsky motor accident attorneys today to discuss your case.
Causes of crashes between motorcycle and car
The most common cause of crashed between a car and motorcycle is driver negligence. This usually happens when the driver of a passenger car fails to exercise care and caution while driving. By doing this, they don’t only put themselves in danger, but everyone around them, in other cars and especially motorcycle drivers.
According to some research, motorcyclists are actually at fault for more than 50% of all multi-vehicle crashes which also involve a motorcycle. Furthermore, motorcyclist are actually 27 times more likely to die in an accident and 5 times more likely to be injured. This is a significantly higher risk than for passenger car drivers or occupants.
Having a driver’s license should be a privilege, not a right. Even though passenger cars are larger than motorcycles, that doesn’t mean that the car driver has the right to behave recklessly while on the road. These are the most common types of negligent behavior that lead to accidents:
Failure to yield the right-of-way
The most dangerous place for a motorcyclist is certainly an intersection. According to NHTSA considers intersections as one of the main locations where accidents between motorcycles and cars happen. Cars that turn left, often forget to yield right-of-way for motorcycles, mostly because they just don’t see them.
This is basically a cognitive issue, since car drivers don’t think about motorcycles or even expect them to cross their path. Motorcyclists are not always on top of the driver’s mind and this often results in pretty serious accidents.
Regardless of the side and rearview mirrors, every car or vehicle has blind spots around it. You may not know this, but 40% of all vehicles actually consists of blind spots. Because of blind spots, changing lanes is extremely dangerous for motorcyclists.
Passenger car drivers tend to not signal that they want to change lanes. When that happens, the motorcyclist has little to no time to react.
Lack of perception
The other common cause of crashes between cars and motorcycles is that drivers don’t judge properly the distance between the passenger car and motorcycle. Driver’s don’t understand at what speed is the motorcyclist driving when they pull out in front of the rider. This is why NHTSA strongly recommends that you should first wait for the motorcycle to pass before connecting to the motorway or the street.
Failure to do so, might require the motorcyclist to perform emergency braking which can end up throwing the rider over the handlebars and causing serious injuries. Furthermore, when emergency braking, the motorcyclist can also lose control over the motorcycle which can slide out from under him/her.
As cellphone technology kept improving, it raised more concerns about distracted driving. According to some research approximately 96% of those that participated in the research, text or email while behind the wheel. But there are surely a lot more that don’t admit to it.
In the United States, 9 people die every day because of distracted driving. But distracted driving is not only about texting / emailing while driving. It can also be related to:
- Cognitive distractions
- Visual distractions
- Manual Distractions
Driving under the influence
No matter how many campaigns are there, people still keep drinking and driving. And even though there is a legal limit of blood alcohol concentration, there’s still a risk that it can impair your judgment. Alcohol can severely impact the driver’s:
- Reaction time
- Vision, causing blurred or double vision
- Color distinction
When you’re driving while feeling drowsy, that’s like driving while under the influence of alcohol. Drowsiness can also impact your response time, judgment and coordination so vehicle drivers don’t realize when they drift into another lane causing an accident. Drowsy driving is mostly caused by lack of sleep or by other medical conditions.
In our next post, we will focus on most common injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. If you or your loved one were inn a crash between a motorcycle and passenger vehicle, you will need an experienced motor accident attorney to help you get the compensation for your injuries and losses that you deserve. Contact Schenk Podolsky today.