Motorcycle Right Of Way Violations

When a motorcycle accident occurs, in many instances it is due to another negligent party. One of the most common causes of such accidents is the failure on the part of the other party to yield to the right of way.

The most common claim made by the other motorist is they simply did not see the motorcycle before it was too late. More often than not, the driver was distracted, texting, or multitasking rather than keeping their eyes on the road. Unfortunately many drivers ignore the presence of a motorcycle on the road and do not watch out for them, which inevitably results in a crash.

Common right of way motorcycle violations include motorists failing to give a motorcycle the right of way in the following situations:

  • Making a left turn:
  • A red light intersection or at stop sign:
  • Entering or leaving a construction zone:
  • Merging or lane changes:
  • When entering or leaving a parking garage:
  • When a vehicle forces lane splitting.

Motorcycle right of way violations are a common occurrence. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports that the typical motorcycle accident gives the rider less than two seconds to take action and avoid an accident. Because of this, it is essential that the motorcyclist practice defensive driving at all times. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:

Ride with Assertiveness: This means that the motorcyclist should ride with a clear knowledge of the rules of the road and follow all safety practices. Being timid or hesitant can send mixed messages to other motorists, which can lead to an accident.

Take Turns Wisely: In single bike motorcycle accidents, rider error was present in two-thirds of all accidents. The NTSB says that this is commonly due to sliding out because of over braking, or taking a turn too wide because of excessive speed.

Navigate Intersections Carefully: Approach intersections confidently, making eye contact with other motorists when possible. Ride assertively, and avoid slowing down or braking unless needed, as it can signal confusion to the other motorists.

Find Free Space: Always try to find open spots in the road to ride where the traffic is sparse.

Stay to the Left: On a freeway, the safest lane is usually to the left (provided there is a shoulder). The far right lane will be subject to cars merging into traffic and should be avoided if at all possible.

Wear Appropriate Gear: The NTSB states, “the use of heavy boots, jacket, gloves etc., is effective in preventing and reducing abrasions and lacerations.”

Riding a motorcycle can be considered an inherently dangerous activity. It is important to take all steps necessary to keep you and your passengers safe. However, in the event that a motorcycle accident occurs, contact E. Ryan Bradley for assistance. We are committed to protecting the rights of our clients, and getting them the compensation they deserve.

February 20th, 2014 by Ryan E. Bradley

Ryan Bradley is a trial lawyer and owner of The Bradley Law Firm. He specializes in catastrophic personal injury ad wrongful death cases.

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St. Louis Lawyer Disclaimer: The legal information offered herein by The Bradley Law Firm, is not formal legal advice, nor is it the formation of an attorney client relationship. In order for our firm to be considered your attorney there must be a signed agreement between the client and the firm. Any results set forth herein are based solely upon the circumstances of that particular case and offer no promise or guarantee upon the outcome of any other case. Please contact a lawyer for a consultation. This site is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Missouri or Illinois. The Bradley Law Firm may co-counsel or associate with other law firms around the country at its discretion from initial intake through litigation when it deems appropriate.

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