Many people have taken to motorcycle riding over the past decade. In 2019, 8% of all households had at least one motorcycle driver, up from 6.94% in 2014. While motorcycles are a growing trend, they also represent a far more dangerous mode of transportation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,579 motorcyclists died from accidents in 2020.
Being aware of these factors and driving safely can help you reduce your risk of an accident. However, if you are involved in a motorcycle accident, the Utah motorcycle accident lawyers at Great West Law can help you get compensation.
Left-Hand Turn Accidents
Cars making left-hand turns in front of motorcycles are among the leading causes of motorcycle-related accidents. In 2020, 42% of fatal motorcycle accidents involved another vehicle. These accidents occurred when the motorcyclist was doing one of the following:
- Driving straight ahead
- Sharing the same lane as other vehicles
- Overtaking another vehicle
Several factors lead to left-hand turn intersection accidents, including inadequate surveillance, misjudging the vehicle’s speed, and turning with an obstructed view.
Since drivers making left-hand turns must signal first and yield to other traffic according to Utah law, they may be liable for a left-hand turn accident.
In head-on collisions, the vehicle driver typically rushes to beat a traffic light or runs a stop sign or red light. In 2020, the NHTSA reported that 76% of fatal motorcycle accidents resulted from head-on collisions. One study found head-on accidents can cause motorcycle drivers to suffer severe injuries to the chest and abdomen. They may also sustain temporary injuries to their palms and perineum.
Failure to Check Blind Spots
In Utah, motorcycle riders may move between two lanes to pass stopped traffic at an intersection safely in a maneuver known as lane filtering. Lane filtering provides motorcyclists with a safe area to drive through during traffic.
Motorcycles may filter between stopped vehicles on roadways when at least two lanes are going in the same direction and at a speed of 45 mph or less.
This law is meant to prevent rear-end collisions between vehicles and motorcycles. However, Utah’s Department of Public Safety only warns vehicle drivers to be aware of motorcyclists driving between cars suddenly.
Before changing lanes, drivers must always check their blind spots for passing vehicles, including motorcycles. Drivers who fail to observe safety precautions are at risk of colliding with passing motorcycles. The motorcycle rider may lose control and possibly hit a fixed object such as a tree or road sign.
Compared to other types of vehicles, motorcycles were involved in fatal crashes with fixed objects more often. In 2020, 25% of motorcycles involved in deadly collisions collided with fixed objects, versus 18% of passenger vehicles.
Rear-end collisions caused only 7% of fatal multi-vehicle accidents involving motorcycles. A driver can cause a read-end accident if they do not adjust their speed to match the motorcycle ahead. This may occur if the vehicle driver tailgates, speeds, or fails to check ahead before making a maneuver.
These collisions can cause serious injuries to motorcyclist’s head, jaw, and teeth. If a motorcyclist extends their arms, they may suffer from broken bones.
Vehicle Occupants Opening Doors
Dooring can occur when a vehicle occupant opens the door without checking for oncoming traffic. They must be aware of others affected by their actions, including passing motorcyclists, especially in heavy traffic. Leaving the vehicle’s door open may cause motorcyclists to crash into them if they are not closed.
An open door motorcycle accident can also lead to a chain reaction of events, such as the motorcycle driver getting run over. If you are involved in a collision with an open car door, you may have suffered extensive injuries, property damage to your motorcycle, and the loss of income for time off for your recovery.
Work with a Dedicated Motorcycle Accident Attorney
In the event you are in a motorcycle accident involving another vehicle, you can seek legal guidance from an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer at Great West Law. We can help you assess the total amount for compensation, file a claim for damages, and negotiate with the insurance company while you can focus on your healing.
Contact us today to schedule your free, initial consultation with one of our skilled motorcycle lawyers to discuss your legal rights and options for filing a claim to recover your losses.