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Not Yielding the Right of Way Most Common Cause of Motorcycle Accidents in Texas

Posted on Thursday, July 27th, 2017 at 12:39 pm    

Texans love to ride motorcycles and there are more riders out doing their thing today than at any time in the past. Who knows whether the doubling of motorcycle usage over the last ten years is due to affection with motorcycles per se or recognition of their economic benefits. What we do know is that the greater the number of motorcyclists using highways across Texas, the greater the number of riders who are seriously injured or are killed as a result of avoidable collisions with other vehicles.

Motorcyclists Almost Always Come off Worse in an Accident

The fact is that whoever is ultimately to blame for a cycle / auto / truck collision, the motorcycle rider is almost always the most likely to suffer serious injuries, especially to the feet, legs, head, neck and back. Wearing a helmet and protective clothing provides a certain amount of safety but no guarantee, even at relatively low collision speeds. When a collision is due to an error of judgment by a vehicle driver rather than the rider, it is usually because the driver was inattentive, did not see the motorcyclist, was distracted, drunk, affected by drugs, driving too fast or did not allow sufficient room between themselves and the rider.

Failure to yield the right of way at a left turn a common accident cause

Statistics held by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveal that one of the most common causes of a rider/ driver collision is when a motorcyclist and vehicle driver are approaching a four way intersection at the same time from opposing directions. The driver makes a left turn oblivious to the movement of the motorcyclist who is hit as the turn is made. Another common accident scenario is when both a vehicle and a motorcycle intend turning right at an intersection and the rider is on the near side. The vehicle driver neglects to give appropriate distance between him or herself and the rider and knocks the rider off the machine.

A typical example of such an accident happened in College Station last week. The driver of a Buick was proceeding along Texas 30 and intended turning off the highway left into a private driveway. He did not see a motorcyclist riding on the opposite side of the highway and the result was that the rider crashed into the passenger side of the Buick. The Buick then swerved out of control into another vehicle, a pick-up truck, which was exiting the driveway at the same time. Both the Buick driver and the motorcyclist were hospitalized, but typically it was the rider who died as the result of injuries sustained in the collision.

NHTSA data shows that 25% of fatal motorcycle accidents are due to failure to yield the right of way when executing a left turn. In fact, slightly more (30%) are due to speeding, but this is a combination of error on the part of either a rider or another driver.

Few easy solutions to motorcycle accidents other than vigilance

There is no easy answer to preventing motorcyclist injuries. Motorcyclists can do their best to make sure they are as visible as possible and that they protect themselves by riding defensively and with protective headgear and clothing, but this is not foolproof.

Drivers do need to acknowledge that there are other road users who share the road and are particularly vulnerable to even low speed collisions. That includes anyone on two wheels, whether it is on a bicycle or a motorcycle. Bicyclists, at least, can use cycle lanes and even sidewalks if they are available and are much rarer on the open highways, but motor cyclist are forced to use the same shared space as other road users.

Contact a local personal injury attorney in McAllen after a motorcycle accident

If you, or a family member, are injured while out riding a motorcycle anywhere around McAllen, Texas, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact one of our personal injury attorneys at the Patino Law Office in McAllen at 956-631-3535 for a free consultation.