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Motorcyclist Hit by Car: Distracted Driving and Motorcycle Accidents

Distracted driving is a serious threat to every motorist on the roadway, and an extreme hazard for motorcycle riders. While passenger vehicle occupants have the protection of an enclosed vehicle, motorcyclists lack that protection. A motorcyclist hit by car can sustain serious, catastrophic, and even fatal injuries in accidents caused by distracted drivers.

A landmark research study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute concluded that driver inattention was indeed the most common cause of all crashes and near crashes in the United States. The report concluded that, “Nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near crashes involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds before the event,” with cell phone use being a primary source of driver inattention. The report found that 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicles accidents involving distracted drivers in a recent year. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also reported that a total of 4,295 motorcyclists were killed in traffic crashes that year, accounting for 13% of all traffic fatalities, which means that hundreds if not thousands of motorcyclists are dying as a result of motorists texting while driving each year.

Most Motorcycle Accidents are Caused by Auto Drivers

Most traffic crashes between motorcycles and other vehicles are caused by drivers who fail to register the presence of the motorcycle while navigating traffic conditions. Motorcycles have a smaller profile than other passenger vehicles, and often automobile drivers simply fail to observe that a motorcycle is sharing the road or highway. In a well-known study prepared for the NHTSA, commonly known as the Hurt Report, researchers found that:

In two-thirds of the accidents between motorcycles and other vehicles, the driver of the other vehicle caused the accident by violating the motorcyclist’s right-of-way.

The predominant cause of motorcycle accidents is the failure of motorists to recognize motorcycles in traffic.

The most frequent motorcycle accident configuration is when the motorcycle is proceeding straight ahead and an automobile turns left into the path of the oncoming motorcycle.

This serious problem is compounded exponentially when drivers are texting or otherwise distracted, and as a result, have even less aware of motorcycles in the roadway.

Despite Laws and Growing Awareness, Distracted Driving is Still Prevalent

In 2007, Washington became just the first state to ban texting while driving. Less than ten years later, 45 additional states and the District of Columbia banned the practice as well, and many public awareness campaigns have attempted to curb texting and driving. Despite those efforts, texting while driving is still commonplace. In a 2015 Erie Insurance survey, one-third of drivers admitted to texting while driving. At any given daylight moment in the U.S., an estimated 660,000 people are manipulating electronic devices or using cell phones while driving.

Are You a New York Motorcyclist Hit by Car?

After a motorcycle accident with serious injuries caused by a distracted driver, you need an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to protect your rights and interests. Our seasoned litigators at The Law Offices of Justin D. Brandel are dedicated advocates for our clients. Contact us for a free consultation to find out about your options under the law.

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