Right of Way Violation Motorcycle Accidents
Some of the most common phrases heard following a motorcycle-versus-car accident:
- “I didn’t see him!”
- “She came out of nowhere!”
- “By the time I realized he was there, it was too late.”
Of course, many motorcycles have a smaller physical profile than cars or trucks. But the problem really is other motorists aren’t properly looking out. This results in Right-of-Way Violations, which are among the most common causes of Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accidents. Such action is not only rude, it’s reckless and can result in serious injury or death.
At The Ansara Law Firm, our Broward motorcycle injury lawyers know in many cases, at-fault drivers fail to give motorcycles the respect they deserve on the roadway. Even when the motorcycle is initially seen, other drivers are more likely to:
- Cut them off
- Ignore their presence at a four-way stop
- Make unsafe lane changes
- Fail to check for blind spots
- Fail to use turn signals (which forces lane-splitting)
- Disregard their rights in parking lots, driveways and parking decks
The danger is further exacerbated when the driver behind the wheel is distracted or drunk.
Drivers who fail to yield the right of way to other vehicles inevitably cause accidents, and sometimes very bad ones. But when the victim is someone on a motorcycle, the potential for serious injury or death is even higher.
The National Transportation Safety Board reports the average motorcycle accident gives the rider less than two seconds to react in order to avoid a collision. And that’s under the best conditions: dry roads, daylight hours and with low traffic volume. That’s why it’s so important that motorcyclists practice defensive operation of their vehicle at all times.Why Motorcycle Right-of-Way Accidents Occur
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) took on this issue recently when it sought to identify why, when motorcycles and other vehicles collide, it was usually the result of a non-motorcycle driver violating the motorcyclist’s right-of-way.
The conclusion was there were several factors, including:
- Motorcycles and riders are relatively small components of total traffic, and therefore visual recognition is reduced.
- Most drivers to do not anticipate routine encounters with motorcyclists.
- Motorcycles are more likely to be obscured by other traffic or roadway objects.
- Larger automobiles have blind spots that can obscure or hide a motorcyclist more easily than a larger vehicle.
- Environmental factors and objects (i.e., light patterns, roadside objects, precipitation, sun glare, etc.) can make it tougher for drivers to identify motorcyclists in traffic.
Echoing those findings, a study published in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention revealed there are two major factors contributing to motorcycle right-of-way violations:
- Lack of motorcycle conspicuity
- A motorist’s speed/ distance judgment error
But there is strong evidence these are all elements that can be overcome. In fact, researchers have concluded that drivers who also ride motorcycles or have family members who do are more likely to observe motorcycles and less likely to be involved in a crash with them. In the end, it’s all a matter of mentally training themselves to look.Recovering Damages for Right-of-Way Violations
Our experienced team of injury attorneys is prepared to conduct careful analysis of the underlying circumstances in your case and hold accountable those who may be liable for your injuries.
Possible defendants may include:
- The driver of the other vehicle.
- The owner of the other vehicle.
- The employer of the at-fault driver.
- Any establishment that may have sold alcohol to that driver (particularly if he or she is under-21).
- Manufacturer of motorcycle, safety gear or other vehicle (if defect led to accident or exacerbated injuries).
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Florida is four years, and two years for a claim of wrongful death. That may seem like a lot of time, but it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to help launch an independent review of pertinent facts. It may take longer than you realize to properly identify all defendants and formulate an effective legal strategy to ensure compensation.
Some of the more common injuries suffered by motorcycle accidents in right-of-way accidents include:
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord trauma
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
Recovery can take weeks, months or even years. Sometimes, riders never fully recover. Negotiation with insurance companies can be contentious. Our firm is dedicated to getting results. If negotiations do not return just and desired results, we are prepared to pursue litigation.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident, contact The Ansara Law Firm, by calling (954) 761-4011 or toll-free at (888) ANSARA-8.