Why Do Careful Drivers Hit Motorcycles

Motorcycle crashes frequently result from something more than ordinary negligence or carelessness. A common thread running through the cases of the many people injured in motorcycle accidents who we have assisted over the years seems to be an inability of other drivers to “see” a motorcycle even when it is clearly visible, and even when it is running with the head lamp on during day light hours.

It is not unusual for a normally careful driver to turn in front of a motorcycle due to a failure to properly judge the speed of the smaller motorcycle. Or, put another way, the smaller size vehicle does not immediately register on the brain of the driver starting a turn as a closely approaching motorcycle, but rather is perceived as a car that is far off in the distance.  If a driver commits to a turn, after misjudging the distance of a motorcycle, no amount of thinking “oh, this is a near and fast approaching object, not a small distance object” can undo the chain of events that have been set in motion.

A prudent motorcycle operator can only hope to avoid this kind of accident, by assuming that all cars will pull out in front of them. Being prepared to slow down when approaching intersections, and being prepared to take evasive action should the necessity arise, are the surest ways for a motorcycle operator to limit the threat of a crash. A savvy motorcyclist will incorporate this inability of other drivers to perceive their speed and closeness, into their driving habits. Recognizing this danger is no different than recognizing that hitting a pot hole or loose gravel on the roadway while operating a two wheel vehicle can be much more dangerous than hitting the same road hazard with a more stable four wheeled vehicle.

Though operators of cars are never excused from carelessly hitting a motorcycle, driving your motorcycle with the assumption that you may not be visible, can be as important as learning to never point a gun at anyone even if you think the gun is not loaded. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury on a motorcycle because of another driver’s negligence please contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.

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