Motorcyclists in the Pittsburgh area face many dangers when they head out on the road. Our hilly, winding roads require good control of the bike, our winters can bring hazardous weather and road conditions, and heavy traffic volumes can make riding difficult. On top of all that, bikers are threatened by the dangerous actions of the motorists they share the road with. Motorcycle riders are particularly vulnerable to being injured and killed because they lack the protection provided by larger cars and trucks. For these reasons, bikers should be aware of the careless things drivers do that put them at risk.
Careless Driver Behaviors That Endanger Motorcyclists
While motorcycle crashes are sometimes caused by the intentional actions of a reckless driver, they are more often caused by careless and thoughtless behaviors. Some common causes of motorcycle crashes include the following:
- Inattentiveness. Motorcycles are smaller and harder to see than cars and trucks, but drivers are still expected to look for them out on the road. Bikers can help them by wearing reflective clothing and using their lights and signals, but it is up to the driver to carefully scan the road for all vehicles before making a turn, pulling out of a side street, or proceeding through a 4-way intersection.
- Distracted driving. Even worse than being inattentive is being distracted by a cell phone, passenger, radio, or GPS system while driving. While a larger car or truck might grab the attention of a driver who has his eyes off the road, a motorcycle likely will not. Distracted drivers can pull out in front of a biker, run him off the road, or rear-end him at an intersection as they are engaged in an unrelated task.
- Speeding. It is more difficult to control a car at higher speeds and it takes longer to stop. When a speeding driver fails to see a motorcycle in front of him or entering from a side street, he will be unlikely to be able to avoid hitting him.
- Misperceptions. It is more difficult to judge the speed and distance of smaller objects, such as a motorcycle. Even drivers who see an approaching motorcycle may misjudge its distance and pull in front of it, causing a crash.
Motorcyclists must also contend with the fact that many drivers refuse to afford them the space and respect they deserve on the road, simply because of their choice of vehicle. These biased drivers are more likely to drive aggressively and take more risks around a biker.
When You Are Injured, You Have Rights
If you are a motorcyclist who was injured by a careless or negligent driver, you need an attorney with experience representing bikers. Our attorneys understand the special challenges faced by motorcyclists and are happy to represent them against insurance companies looking to pass the blame for a crash. Call us to schedule a free case review today.