Watch Out for Motorcycle Accidents at Intersections
Intersections are dangerous for all sorts of motorists, but they are particularly dangerous for motorcyclists. According to Forbes, 35% of fatal motorcycle collisions occur at intersections. Thousands of motorcyclists are also badly injured in non-fatal accidents. We strongly encourage all bikers to exercise extreme caution at intersections. Your life might depend on it.
If you were struck, please contact Karnas Law Firm today. We can help any rider who suffered injuries in a collision. If you lost a loved one in a crash, we will also discuss your legal rights to bring a wrongful death claim. Below, our Arizona motorcycle accident lawyer looks at common intersection accidents and offers tips for how to protect yourself.
Lane Splitting Accidents
Lane splitting refers to motorcyclists riding in between lanes on a multi-lane road, particularly when cars are stopped at an intersection. Some bikers feel safer lane splitting, because they won’t be struck from behind by a negligent driver who is failing to pay attention.
However, the risk of an accident is very high. Few motorists are expecting you to be in between the lanes, and they could accidentally bump you. Lane splitting is even more dangerous if you do it on the freeway with fast-moving traffic. Instead, you need to follow the rules of the road like other motorists. Lane splitting is illegal in Arizona.
Many motorcyclists get struck by a driver who is attempting a left-hand turn. These are difficult turns because the driver must pay attention to so many things at once—cars coming through the intersection toward them, the crosswalk that they are turning into, and the traffic lights overhead.
Unfortunately, many car drivers fail to see motorcyclists coming through the intersection and might wrongly think the way is clear. They quickly hit the gas and turn left—directly into you. These are often serious accidents, because a motorcyclist has literally no protection at their side. Serious injuries include pelvic fracture, broken hips, and back injuries.
Running a Red Light Accident
Some motorists plow through an intersection even though they have a red light. Often, they are drunk or high on drugs, which makes them take risks or impairs their vision. Other motorists simply nod off for a few seconds because they are drowsy but don’t lift their foot from the accelerator. They can race through an intersection and collide with any motorcyclist coming through on a green.
These are often high-speed collisions, so the risk of permanent disability is very high. We also see some fatal accidents when someone runs a red light. Indeed, according to Forbes, about 34% of fatal motorcycle accidents involve speeding.
A motorcyclist also needs to worry about pedestrians, some of whom leap into the crosswalk even when a traffic signal is telling them not to. You could easily flip over after striking a pedestrian or even when taking sudden, defensive measures to avoid a crash. These tend to be low-speed accidents, and no doubt the pedestrian will get the worst of any collision. Still, any biker could end up with road rash, fractures, or pinched nerves in this type of wreck.
Pedestrian accidents are also dangerous because the pedestrian might not have any ability to pay compensation even though he or she is at fault for stepping directly in front of you. Getting your medical bills paid and lost income replaced could pose a real challenge after this type of accident.
Please Be Careful
Motorcyclists ultimately can reduce the chances of an intersection collision by taking certain steps:
- Make yourself visible. Try to wear a bright helmet or jacket so that you stand out from the crowd.
- Never lane split. Not only is it against the law, but you are simply taking too big of a risk.
- Slow down when approaching an intersection. You never know when a pedestrian could jump in front of you or a car could come barreling through. The slower you are going, the more cushion you give yourself to stop.
- Wear a helmet. They reduce the risk of a serious or fatal brain injury, and they do not reduce your vision to any meaningful degree.
- Remember to yield as required by traffic rules. You can’t always control what other people do, but you can control your own choices.
Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
We can fight to get you compensation following a crash, including medical care, lost income, and pain and suffering. You should also get your bike repaired. Please call Karnas Law today to discuss your intersection accident and how we might help you.