It’s hard to drive down a busy road or highway and not see a motorcycle somewhere. For many, riding on a motorcycle is both a leisure activity and a means of easy transportation. Unfortunately, the negligent actions of drivers cause motorcycle accidents far too often.
Because they lack a protective frame that most normal vehicles have, motorcycle riders are much more susceptible to severe or even fatal injuries. Below are some of the most common ways that drivers cause motorcycle collisions and steps they can take to prevent them.
Speeding and Reckless Driving
The speed limit is in place to ensure that everyone on the road stays safe. When drivers speed, they cannot brake in time if they need to make a sudden maneuver. For instance, if a driver is speeding and not paying attention to their surroundings, they could spot a motorcycle at the last second and not have enough time to slow down and avoid a collision.
Speeding is just one behavior of reckless driving that is incredibly dangerous for everyone on the road. Some other types of reckless driving behaviors include:
Weaving between lanes
Not using turn signals
Running red lights or stop signs
Aggressive driving or road rage
Motorists have a legal obligation to drive with a certain duty of care. However, many drivers don’t take the proper steps to eliminate distractions while behind the wheel. This means that they are not driving with the vigilance needed to spot motorcycles, which are inherently much smaller and harder to spot.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines three types of driving distractions:
Visual: anything that takes your eyes off the road
Manual: anything that takes your hands off the wheel
Cognitive: anything that takes your mind off of driving
A seemingly simple act of reading and sending a text could be considered all three of these distractions, an often dangerous combination.
Drivers should remember that motorcycle riders can be anywhere on the road and that it’s important to stay extremely vigilant while behind the wheel so everyone stays safe. To help eliminate potential distractions, drivers can:
Avoid eating or drinking
Make sure kids are buckled up properly
Put directions into navigation systems prior to driving
Avoid conversations with passengers
One of the most common and deadly causes of motorcycle accidents involves left-hand turn. These situations occur when a driver fails to see a motorcycle coming straight and turns left into his lane. The driver ends up either directly colliding with the motorcycle, or the rider has no time to react and cannot break in time to avoid hitting the turning vehicle.
Driving Under the Influence
Those who drive under the influence of alcohol put everyone else on the road at risk, especially motorcycle riders. Motorcycles are already more difficult to spot compared to normal vehicles, even for sober drivers. Alcohol impacts a driver’s ability to
React with speed
Comprehend situations on the road
Coordinate their feet and arms
Motorcycle riders injured due to drunk drivers may be entitled to an extra type of compensation known as punitive damages. These damages are awarded to punish the defendant (the person who caused the accident) if it is proven that this person exhibited a “willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or that entire want of care which would raise the presumption of conscious indifference to consequences.”
Let Us Do the Talking
The at-fault driver’s insurance company may try to contact you after a motorcycle accident, however, you should not provide them with any sort of statement before consulting with a seasoned motorcycle accident attorney. They may try to twist your statement to deny or devalue your claim, and you want to make sure your rights are protected from by someone who is putting your best interests first.
Big-time crashes require big-time attorneys. Here at Jamie Casino Injury Attorneys, we have the knowledge, skill, and experience needed to ensure you walk away with the maximum possible compensation. Let us handle the negotiations and insurance process so you can focus on your recovery.
Contact Jamie Casino Injury Attorneys at (912) 809-5335 to schedule your free case evaluation.