Motorcycle riding is a fun, convenient and energy-efficient way of traveling, but it can also be dangerous. Every motorcyclist knows about these dangers, and every responsible motorcyclist takes precautions to minimize the risk. Still, there’s only so much a motorcyclist can do to protect themselves from other drivers.
Studies have shown that the most common cause of automobile-motorcycle collisions is the car driver’s violation of the motorcyclist’s right of way. The biggest issues underlying these accidents are the visibility of the motorcyclist and the ability of the car driver to judge speed and distance with regard to the motorcycle.
Visibility and speed-distance
Interestingly, the visibility factor isn’t always determined only by the brightness of the motorcyclist’s clothing. Studies have found that the most important issue underlying motorcyclist visibility is the conspicuousness of the clothing in relation to their surroundings. A brightly-colored jacket can be more conspicuous in a dimly lit area than it may be out in the open on a sunny day. Once again, this suggests that there is only so much a motorcyclist can do to protect themselves from other drivers.
The speed-distance judgment issue in motorcycle accidents is also troubling for motorcyclists. Drivers tend to overestimate the speed of larger vehicles and underestimate the speed of smaller vehicles, including motorcycles. Studies show this type of misjudgment is particularly common among older drivers.
While wise motorcyclists do everything they can to avoid a collision with a car or truck, they are sometimes unavoidably at the mercy of the people behind the wheels of these much larger vehicles. All drivers have a duty to others to avoid the risk of a traffic accident. When they breach this duty by driving carelessly, and injure someone as a result, the injured or their surviving family members may hold them liable for their damages.
Those injured in a motorcycle accident, or their families, should speak with an attorney about their options for pursuing compensation.