Learning the road rules is a crucial part of learning to drive. It’s the foundation of what makes a good driver – above and beyond learning the stick shift. Still, there may be times when you don’t always get it right. The problem is, getting it wrong can be deadly. What might be a fender bender between two cars could be a catastrophic incident as a motorcycle accident. Read on to learn why, in particular, ignoring a motorcyclist’s right of way can be deadly.
There Are a Lot of Obstacles
Hitting a motorcyclist is something that no one ever sets out to do when they get out of bed in the morning. However, ignoring their right of way can mean that’s exactly what you can do. Hitting one can be deadly, for there are often a lot of obstacles in the way that can cause significant damage.
When you hit a motorcyclist, they are thrown from the bike. The momentum carries them into whatever is in their path. That might be road barriers, road signs, walls, other vehicles, and even trees. Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 27 times more likely to die in an accident, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Weather Conditions Can Play a Part
Ignoring a motorcyclist’s right of way may not seem like a huge deal, but it can be. Alongside any potential near-misses, weather conditions can also play a part in the outcome of such an accident.
If, for example, it’s raining, then water droplets on a rider’s helmet may stop them from seeing you until it’s too late. Snow and wind can also cause distractions and slow down reaction times. Ignoring a motorcyclist’s right of way can be deadly enough in perfect driving conditions, but even more so when those conditions aren’t perfect.
They Can Legally Run Red Lights In Some States
Did you know that in the right situation, a motorcyclist can legally run a red light? Sensors at some intersections don’t recognize lightweight vehicles. As a result, bikers can be sitting at a red light for a considerable amount of time.
Minnesota, Idaho, Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Tennessee all have a safe-on-red law. This law means that after a predetermined amount of time at a red light, a motorcyclist can proceed through it if there is no cross traffic or pedestrians. Understanding this law can make a world of difference to any potential accident.
They Don’t Have a Lot of Protection
When you’re driving along in your car, you have a metal layer of protection that can end up saving your life in an accident. If you ignore a motorcyclist’s right of way and hit them in your car, they are not so lucky.
Motorcyclists only have their clothing, boots, helmet, and gloves. They do not have a layer around them to prevent broken bones, head injuries, internal injuries, and spinal damage. If you fail to give way and hit a motorcyclist, you may be liable for compensation to that motorcyclist or their family.
They Have Limited Time to Act
If you ignore a motorcyclist’s right of way, you’re not giving them a lot of time to react. They have to take drastic action which can see them crash into something else if it’s not your vehicle. You might be liable for damages even if your car did not crash into a motorcycle. A personal injury law firm can become involved if you caused a collision at all.
The Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at J. Alexander Law Firm Can help
Motorcycles are efficient and cost-effective modes of transport. However, negligent drivers can put them and their riders at significant risk on the road. If you’re a motorcyclist who has been involved in an accident as a result of a driver’s negligence, it might be time to get in touch with a motorcycle accident lawyer today. The attorneys at J. Alexander Law Firm can help!