You’re at a four-way intersection on your motorcycle, planning to go straight ahead. Following the rules of the road, you stop at the stop sign where you notice a car in the distance. The vehicle appears to be traveling at a fast pace, but looks to be going in the opposite direction.
However, as you’re midway through the intersection, that same car makes a hasty stop and attempts to make a left turn. Your motorcycle is hit from the side. As a result, you’re left with severe, life-threatening injuries and have to spend months out of work to recover.
According to statistics, motorcycles are involved in 35 times the number of accidents as cars. The situation outline above is responsible for 42 percent of that amount. However, why is this instance so common?
An Element of Surprise
When motorists aren’t expecting to see motorcycles alongside them, they are unprepared when it happens. Yet, when all accidents are analyzed, they fall into three groups:
- The motorcycle is going straight through when the car attempts a turn
- The motorcycle tries to pass a car
- The motorcycle is driving in the same lane as the car
These three instances manifest as:
- A motorist taking a familiar route doesn’t see the motorcycle driving at a distance and doesn’t take such precautions as giving the biker more space.
- The motorist isn’t looking specifically for motorcycles and is surprised when one traveling at a fast speed suddenly becomes visible.
- The motorist thinks he or she is driving carefully, but misjudges the motorcycle’s speed and a collision results.
- The motorcycle attempts to pass the car in the same lane. Frequently, the motorcyclist ends up in the car driver’s blind spot. The motorist only knows it’s too late when attempting a left turn.
- The motorcycle attempts to overtake the car, using illegal maneuvers.
- The motorcycle’s small size and thinner shape make it less visible to the motorist.
Who’s at Fault?
When the car strikes the motorcycle, the motorist is at fault. However, both drivers should understand that this situation isn’t as clear-cut as it seems. While the vehicle making the left turn doesn’t have the right-of-way and should have been observing the biker’s signals, the motorcyclist may also be found responsible if he or she:
- Was speeding through the intersection
- Drove in the wrong lane
- Attempted to go around the car in the same lane
As the injured party, you may be dealing with an unsympathetic insurance company that refuses to fairly compensate you for the accident. Instead of accepting their low offer, get the motorcycle attorneys of Trantolo & Trantolo involved. Not only are we familiar with the law, but many members of our staff ride. To learn more, give us a call today.