Determining Who Has the Right-of-Way in Maryland Motorcycle Accidents

All drivers should be aware of Maryland traffic laws by virtue of having obtained a Maryland driver’s license. Most drivers can rely on their gut instinct when determining who has the right-of-way in a traffic situation, since the traffic laws have become ingrained in our minds through years of driving. However, there are some situations in which determining who has the right-of-way is not as easily determined.

Left Turn ArrowOne situation in which it is not always clear which person has the right-of-way is left-turn accidents. Of course, the general rule is that the vehicle turning left must yield the right-of-way to the vehicle that is continuing straight. However, that is not always the case. For example, if the motorist who is continuing straight is traveling in excess of the speed limit, that driver can be said to have lost the right-of-way, potentially absolving the left-turning motorist of fault.

The idea behind the shifting right-of-way makes intuitive sense when thinking about the knowledge each driver possesses in the moments before an accident. For example, a driver waiting to make a left turn has no knowledge of how fast the oncoming vehicle is traveling and can only make a rough estimate judging by how fast the vehicle is approaching. In most cases, that motorist will reasonably assume that the oncoming motorist is traveling at the posted speed limit and will make the decision of when to turn accordingly.

The speeding driver, however, knows the speed at which he is traveling, and he knows approximately when he will reach the intersection. That driver also knows that there is another motorist waiting to make a left turn. Thus, by speeding into an intersection, the driver throws off the judgement of the driver waiting to make a left turn. The law will not require the motorist waiting to make a left turn to account for the other driver’s violation of the posted traffic law.

Motorcyclist Struck While Making Left Turn

Earlier this month, a motorcycle accident seriously injured one man, sending him to the hospital. According to a local news report, the collision took place at a busy intersection that is known for speeding. Evidently, the motorcyclist was heading northbound and attempted to make a left turn in front of a southbound vehicle. The motorcyclist did not complete the turn and exit the intersection by the time the other vehicle arrived at the intersection, and the car struck the motorcycle mid-turn. The rider was thrown from the bike and suffered serious injuries as a result. Police are conducting an investigation into the accident but have yet to file any traffic citations.

Have You Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled Maryland personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have extensive experience representing injured motorcyclists in cases against those responsible for their injuries. Call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Maryland motorcycle accident attorney with Lebowitz & Mzhen today.

More Blog Posts:

Motorcycle Accidents Caused by a Motorist’s Failure to Yield, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published September 20, 2017.

Insurance Disputes in Maryland Bicycle Accidents, Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog, published October 5, 2017.

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