Although the driving public at large may feel differently, the sometimes common perception that motorcycle crashes are a result of aggressive driving on the part of the motorcyclist. Frankly, most bikers are actually rather good riders who enjoy their chosen mode of transportation very seriously; enjoying it both as a pastime and an economical way to get around cities like Frederick, Bowie, Hagerstown and the District.
The truth of the matter is that many of the serious and fatal traffic collisions involving cars, trucks and motorcycles occur because the other motorist — be he or she a passenger car driver or commercial trucker — quite simply fails to see or recognize the motorcycle and its rider until it is too late. Many roadway accidents happen because the rider-bike combination presents a much smaller and less familiar profile than what drivers of four-wheelers tend to expect. It’s a matter of conditioning; and most car, truck and SUV drivers have little impetus to watch out for bikers; that is until it’s too late.
Not seeing a biker can be as simple a situation as the rider and his machine being eclipsed by another larger vehicle — basically out of sight from oncoming passenger car drivers. This can be a very dangerous situation, especially at intersections or busy shopping mall entrances. Weather can play a part as well; as do nighttime conditions. But these only increase the chances that a motorist, who may not be concentrating, might hit a biker. Drivers who don’t expect a motorcycle to be approaching, or who are impatient when attempting to make a left turn or pass another motor vehicle, are more likely to miss seeing a bike until it’s too late.
As Maryland personal injury attorneys and auto accident lawyers, I and my staff know that many motorcycle injury accidents could possibly be prevented if only passenger car and commercial truck drivers would take that little bit of extra effort to double-check for a biker in the area before executing a maneuver. Just this simple attempt to confirm is a bike is coming up could transform a potentially deadly turning or merging operation into what it should be: a routine and ordinary event with no victim.
Of course, as Baltimore motorcycle accident attorneys, my office handles numerous accident cases all around Maryland. We know from experience what every motorcycle rider lives with on a daily basis: the fact that serious bodily injury is an almost inevitable consequence of a car- or truck-bike crash. This is due to the relative lack of rider protection provided by bikes; certainly next to none when compared to that of cars or trucks.
Considering the higher risk of serious injury or death, it comes as no surprise to read a news article about a scooter rider killed on Rockville Pike not long ago. While the death of this individual is sad, what is truly distressing is that the driver of the car that alleged hit the scooter left the scene, essentially tuning a tragic accident into a more serious fatal hit-and-run.
Reading of yet another fatal hit-and-run accident, this time involving a 30-year-old Gaithersburg resident who was apparently obeying all of the traffic laws, we find ourselves scratching our heads as to how another person could leave the scene of an accident that they likely caused.
Based on reports, the crash occurred around 1:30am as the victim was passing through the intersection at Md. 355 and Edmonston Rd. According to news reports, Roberto Nassar had been waiting at a red light just prior to the collision. When the light turned green, and as the man accelerated through the intersection, he was allegedly hit from behind by a Buick LeSabre driven by a 22-year-old man from College Park.
Police reports indicate that the Buick kept driving away from the scene, but was observed not far from the crash by officers who said they saw sparks flying out from underneath the vehicle as it drove down the road. According to the news article, the suspect’s vehicle still had the remains of the scooter embedded under the car’s front fender.
When Montgomery County police officers pulled the man over they reportedly detected signs of intoxication. The driver was arrested and charged with failure to stop at a fatal accident scene; failure to return immediately to the scene of a fatal crash; and failure, as a driver involved in a fatal accident, to report it to the local police.
Man charged in Rockville fatal scooter crash released on bond, WashingtonTimes.com, September 24, 2011
22-year-old accused of killing scooter driver in Rockville Pike accident gets bail, Gazette.net, September 23, 2011