May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month. New York motorcycle accident attorneys know that the road can be a dangerous place for motorcyclists. Motorcycles are less visible than automobiles. Additionally, when there is an accident, motorcyclists are more likely to be seriously injured or killed than the driver of the automobile.
The New York Department of Motor Vehicles suggests a number of reasons that motorcycles are less visible than automobiles. Motorcycles are smaller, which also makes it more difficult to judge their distance and speed. Because of their smaller size, they do not take up the full lane and can be difficult to see around other vehicles. Additionally, motorcycles do not have a separate brake light, and their taillights are not at eye level. Furthermore, their turn signals are often close to the other lights, making them harder to notice.
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 41% of crashes between motorcycles and passenger vehicles, the passenger vehicle violated the right of way of the motorcyclist. In 2015, 41% of fatal motorcycle crashes occurred when the driver was turning left and the motorcycle was going straight.
In 2016, there were 4,905 total motorcycle crashes in New York State. 134 motorcycle riders and passengers were killed in accidents in 2016. Data from the New York City Motorcycle Safety Study found that motorcyclists accounted for 14% of the traffic fatalities in New York City from 2010-2014, despite motorcycles representing just 2% of the registered vehicles in the city. Motorcyclists are statistically at greater risk of being fatally injured in an accident than drivers and passengers of automobiles.
A motorcyclist was recently killed in a head-on collision with an SUV. The sheriff has stated that there was no indication the motorcyclist was speeding or doing anything wrong. He said it appears the SUV gradually crossed the center line, giving the motorcyclist no opportunity to avoid the accident. It is believed the SUV driver may have fallen asleep.
Motorcyclists have the same rights and obligations on the road as other drivers. When a motorcyclist is injured due to the negligence of a driver, he or she also has the right to recover compensation for those injuries. A driver who crosses the center line or turns left in front of a motorcycle and causes a collision may be held liable for the motorcyclist’s injuries.
Drivers should always be aware and on the lookout for motorcycles. They should give motorcycles more room, especially in bad weather. It is especially important for drivers to be cautious in intersections, particularly when making left turns. Staying alert and being aware of the differences between motorcycles and other vehicles can prevent accidents and save motorcyclists’ lives.
If you have been injured while riding a motorcycle due to someone else’s negligence, you need an experienced New York motorcycle accident attorney to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Call the Law Offices of Marc S. Albert at 1.855.252.3788 to discuss your case.
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