While many motorists are highly aware of other cars and large commercial trucks sharing the roadway, they often pay insufficient attention to motorcycles, bicyclists, and pedestrians. When these types of accidents occur, bikers, cyclists, and pedestrians often suffer catastrophic injuries. Far too many bikers lose their lives or suffer serious long-lasting injuries when sharing the roadway with motorists and truck drivers. In fact, the Illinois personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have handled many cases where the motorcyclist in an accident have hada passenger vehicle motorist violate the biker’s right-of-way.
Statistics released by the Department of Commerce – National Technical Information Service (NTIS) estimate that approximately three out of every four biker accidents involve crashes with other vehicles. The results of studies show that approximately 65 percent of those crashes involve passenger vehicle where the driver was at fault. Of these accidents, approximately 42 percent involved the motorist turning left into the pathway of an oncoming biker.
These types of collisions usually cause serious injury to the biker because the driver was completely unaware that they were sharing the roadway with the motorcycle. The biker’s injuries are usually horrific because they simply do not have the high level of body protection and are exposed to the harsh outdoor elements and hard roadway during the collision. These accidents are often the result of motorist distraction, inattentiveness or driving carelessly/recklessly behind the wheel. Other times, the driver simply failed to take every necessary precaution to ensure that the motorcyclist was given ample space to share the roadway.
Turning into Oncoming Traffic
While it is obvious that the vast majority of turning vehicle accidents happen at intersections, many occur in parking lots and along vast stretches of rural highways. In nearly every case, the motorist never saw the biker or believed they had ample time and distance to make a safe turn upon the biker’s approach. If the driver of the passenger vehicle or truck is even slightly distracted, the smaller visual profile of the motorcycle could make the biker invisible, especially if the driver is impeded by the sun’s glare or the bike is obstructed by other vehicles on the roadway.
Under Illinois law, every motorized vehicle making a left-hand turn must yield to approaching traffic. Any driver who makes a left-hand turn must provide a right-of-way to trucks, cars, bicycles, motorcycles or other moving vehicle. Because most of the turning vehicle accidents involving motorcycles occur at intersections, many of these collisions happen at speeds slower than 30 miles an hour. Even so, the injury suffered by the biker are often life-changing, where the motorcyclist may never be able to fully recover.
The three most commonintersection accident cases handled by personal injury attorneys involve scenarios where turning vehicles encroach into the pathway of an approaching motorcycle including:
- A motorist rushing to beat a yellow signal that is just about to change to red;
- Motorists passing another car that is waiting in the roadway or at an intersection for oncoming traffic to pass; or
- A driver making any maneuver without proper authority or having the right-of-way.
Nearly all of these types of accidents could have been prevented if the driver had been paying a bit more attention to the surrounding area and the road ahead. In other words, their reckless or negligent actions are typically the cause of most turning vehicle accidents.
Avoiding a Turning Vehicle Accident
There are steps that every motorcyclist can take to make themselves more visible to other motorists on the roadway including using the headlight, wearing bright clothing and a helmet constructed with reflective colors. In addition, the biker can move their motorcycle to lane the farthest away from the center of the road to provide ample space for maneuvering quickly.
An additional way the biker can minimize the potential of being involved in a turning vehicle collision is to maintain hand contact on the brake controls and continuously plan escape routes while moving through traffic. Having ample space between vehicles can help the biker avoid a close call and deadly impact with other vehicles, debris or obstacles even at a slow speed.
Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you are a loved one have suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident due to the negligent or reckless action of a motorist, you are likely entitled to receive financial compensation for your damages. The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have extensive experience in a comprehensive understanding of Illinois tort law involving motorcycle accidents. Our team of dedicated attorneys can handle every aspect of filing a claim for compensation and holding all parties responsible for the accident legally accountable.
We remain dedicated to the rights of motorcycle victims and remain proud in our individual approach in handling every case we pursue on behalf of our clients. If your injuries, property damage or losses are the result of driver negligence, it is crucial to consult with one of our experienced lawyers. We encourage you to contact us today at (888) 424-5757 to set up your free, no obligation full case consultation. Our team of attorneys can answer all of your questions and provide you a variety of legal options to seek the financial recompense you deserve.