When a collision occurs, whether the accident is at low or high speed, one of the factors determining severity of the injuries is the type of vehicles involved in the accident. For someone who is riding in a small passenger car, convertible, motorcycle or bicycle, being hit by a semi-tractor trailer will be far worse in resulting injuries than someone who is involved in a collision with a vehicle similar to their own.
Personal injury lawyers are skilled in representation of accident injury victims, whether they were in an automobile, motorcycle, bicycle or pedestrian-related accident. The at-fault driver in these accidents must be held accountable for their negligence or violation of other drivers' or pedestrians' rights.
Why Cycles Are More Vulnerable to Accidents and Injuries
Two vehicles that are particularly vulnerable to operator injury in these collisions are motorcycles and bicycles. In the past decade, the number of motorcycle fatalities has increased in the United States. These numbers can only be expected to continue to rise, particularly as there are more and more motorcycle and bicycle riders on the roads each year in states like Arizona.
The reasons why motorcyclists and bicyclists are so vulnerable to motor vehicle accident injuries is pretty obvious. That is, these riders are fully exposed to other vehicle impacts, their environment and surfaces all around them. These riders also have few safety features to rely upon, particularly when compared with other motor vehicle operators who are wearing seat belts, encased in steel cages and surrounded by air bags. Even safety equipment available to motorcycle riders does not offer fail-proof protection, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). For example, helmets are only useful toward preventing motorcyclist death in about 39 percent of accidents.
Adding to the danger that riding a bicycle or motorcycle on public roads presents, most motor vehicle operators do not even realize these two-wheeled cycles are on the road. Motorcycle and bicycle riders are also vulnerable to driver behaviors such as:
- Failure to check blind spots before lane changes
- Tailgating of motorcycles
- Incorrectly estimating the speed of two-wheeled vehicles
- Failing to concede right-of-way
Whether an accident is the fault of a motorcyclist, the bicyclist or the driver of another vehicle, the person on the motorcycle or bicycle will be the one to suffer greater injuries than the driver or passengers in an automobile. In fact, about 80 percent of motorcycle accidents cause serious injury or death to the motorcyclist.
Motor vehicle operators of all kinds have a legal obligation to operate their vehicle safely, just as motorcyclists and bicyclists have the same duty of exercising care in safe operation of their bikes. Riders must also pay attention to other vehicles toward defensive driving and keep watchful over conditions like weather that can become dangerous. But even if motorcycle and bicycle riders follow all rules of the road, they are still highly vulnerable to other motor vehicle operators.
Just like motorcycle riders, bicyclists are more vulnerable to being seriously injured or killed in an accident with a motor vehicle. These riders are responsible for wearing a helmet and protecting themselves as much as possible against behaviors of other vehicles on the road. Bicycles are permitted to ride their bikes on roads unless expressly prohibited by the law. So motor vehicles of all kinds, including motorcycles, must share the road with these vulnerable riders and help keep them safe. When riding a bicycle on roads with motor vehicles, the bicyclist is as accountable for following traffic laws as other vehicle drivers.
Many drivers are hostile about sharing the road with bicyclists, as these riders are unable to move as fast as cars, trucks or motorcycles. This makes bike riders even more vulnerable to auto accidents, particularly those where they are likely to sustain serious injuries or fatality.
Motorcycle and Bicycle Accidents are as likely as other collisions to happen when traffic laws are being broken, such as through speeding, illegal lane changes or tailgating. So to decrease the likelihood of the occurrence of a motor vehicle collision with a bicycle or motorcycle, every type of vehicle operator should drive responsibly and share the road.
When a Motor Vehicle Accident Happens
If you or someone you love have been injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a bicycle or motorcycle, you should gain the help and guidance of an experienced accident attorney. A personal injury and motorcycle accident lawyer can help injured victims or their surviving families gain the compensation they are owed for injuries, property damage, medical costs, lost income and other expenses of a motor vehicle accident.
David Michael Cantor is a phoenix-based personal injury attorney with three firms and is also the co-founder of a retargeting startup for lawyers called geobid.