Auto accidents that involve automobiles and two-wheeled vehicles, whether bicycles, motorcycles, or motorized scooters, share common characteristics demonstrating the unique dangers that are faced by commuters using smaller vehicles on our nation’s roadways. Not only are the users of two-wheeled vehicles more likely to suffer an accident based on the negligence of another driver, but also they are more likely to be seriously injured or killed in an accident as a consequence of the difference in mass between the vehicles.
Other Drivers Owe a Special Duty of Care to Motorcyclists and Bicyclists
There are several reasons why accidents between normal vehicles and smaller, two-wheeled vehicles are more common than between two normal vehicles alone. A primary cause of the increased accident risk is the fact that motorcycles and other small vehicles can be more difficult for another motorist to see, resulting in an unintended collision. Although bicycle and motorcycle operators should use additional caution when commuting around larger vehicles, the drivers of the larger vehicles have a legal duty to exercise due care while on public roadways, and this duty includes paying attention to the road and keeping an eye out for smaller vehicles. If the driver of a larger vehicle fails to see a smaller vehicle and causes an accident, the driver of the larger vehicle may be accountable for damages to the motorcyclist even if the driver of the other vehicle never actually saw the smaller vehicle before the collision.
Motorcyclists and Bicyclists Should Use Approved Safety Equipment to Ensure Their Safety
Motorcyclists should always employ fully functional safety equipment to protect themselves while on the road. This includes lights, reflectors, proper signaling equipment, protective clothing, and a helmet. Using approved safety equipment while on the road can help save a motorcyclist’s life in the event of an accident and additionally support their case for compensation from a negligent driver who may have caused the crash. A motorcyclist or bicyclist involved in an accident who failed to use safety equipment or follow traffic laws before an accident may lose their right to collect the full amount of damages from a negligent driver who caused the accident.
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