Every time we leave the house and get behind the wheel, we are taking a risk. No matter what type of vehicle you drive, driving is inherently dangerous. When accidents happen, they can cause serious injury or even death. But while driving is risky, some types of vehicles are riskier than others. One of these vehicles is a motorcycle. Motorcycles put drivers at a much greater risk than those who are maneuvering passenger vehicles.
In fact, the NHTSA reported that in 2016, there were 5,286 motorcyclists killed – up 5.1 percent from the number of fatalities just the year prior. When looking at vehicle miles traveled, in 2016 motorcyclist fatalities occurred almost 28 times more often than passenger car occupant fatalities when involved in traffic crashes. Additionally, contrary to what you may think, more than half (59 percent) of these occurrences took place during daylight, though less surprising, 34 percent occurred at intersections. Furthermore, according to earlier data, the NHTSA reported that these intersections were mostly off of the highway.
Failure to be Seen
One of the biggest contributors to these tragic accidents is the fact that drivers of passenger vehicles often fail to see – and therefore yield to – motorcyclists who have the right-of-way. That’s why it is even more important that motorcyclists take proactive steps to protect themselves while driving through intersections.
According to data in a 2009 report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute, 42 percent of fatal motorcycle intersection crashes that involved two vehicles occurred when the vehicle turned left in front of an oncoming motorcycle.
Intersection Safety: How Can You Protect Yourself?
Since intersections prove to be so dangerous for motorcyclists, it is of the utmost importance that these drivers continue to pay very close attention and remain extremely cautious when moving through or around all intersections. While there are safety precautions that all drivers should take, such as looking both ways before moving through an intersection, and waiting a couple of seconds after a light turns green to go, there are other safety tips that motorcyclists should implement. These include the following:
- Always drive defensively and assume that you cannot be seen by other vehicles
- Pay close attention to side streets and cars coming out of them
- Slow down when something is obscuring your vision
- When possible do not ride between vehicles
- Always try to avoid other drivers’ blind spots
- Allow passenger vehicles to pull up first to an intersection since they are more likely to be seen
- Wear bright, neon colors to increase visibility
The Michigan Personal Injury Attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. Can Help
At Miller & Tischler, P.C., our team of knowledgeable and experienced Michigan personal injury attorneys can help.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it can have physical, emotional, and financial effects. You should never have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. We always have our clients’ best interests at heart and will help to fight for the compensation that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!