From the exhilaration of the open road to the satisfying challenge of perfecting speed, timing and balance for the perfect ride, it is no wonder that so many Americans love their motorcycles. Unfortunately, motorcyclists also face unique safety risks that make them more vulnerable to injuries and fatalities: even when they are following traffic laws.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that bikers are nearly 27 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle collision than occupants of a passenger car. Additionally, in 42% of fatal two-vehicle crashes involving a motorcycle, the collision occurred due to a motorist making a left turn while the cyclist was either moving in a straight line, passing or overtaking another vehicle.
Drivers often fail to recognize motorcyclists’ right of way
While it is crucial for motorcyclists to follow safe riding practices, it is also important for other drivers to be mindful of bikers sharing the road. Too often motorists fail to give cyclists the right of way at intersections, whether due to visibility issues, distraction or simple carelessness:
- Lack of visibility: motorcycles are smaller and less common on roadways than other vehicles. When making a left turn, a driver may fail to see a cyclist and perform a turn without recognizing right of way.
- Distraction: From cellphones and infotainment systems to other onboard distractions, a driver who is not paying full attention to the road may not notice a biker when turning or passing.
- Carelessness: the AAA reports that 28% of traffic crash deaths occur due to red-light running. When a driver attempts to beat a signal, he or she may make an illegal left turn that puts motorcyclists at risk, especially since the driver has likely sped up to make the turn.
Motorcycle accidents often involve traumatic injuries
When even a small passenger vehicle collides with a motorcycle, the resulting injury may easily be catastrophic. Indiana bikers should know that they may be eligible for essential medical compensation as well as recovery of lost wages and ongoing health care support.