St. Louis Motorcycle Intersection Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle Intersection Accidents
Intersections are some of the most dangerous places for motorcyclists, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). About 17 percent of all deaths at intersections each year are motorcyclists, according to the NHTSA. For each mile traveled, motorcyclists are 34 times more likely to die in an intersection crash than motor vehicle occupants. Pedestrians and bicyclists also make up significant percentages, for the same reasons motorcyclists often lose their lives or are severely injured.
Motorcycle Risk Factors
Motorcycles are smaller than cars and so are easily overlooked by vehicle drivers trying to navigate intersections. A motorcycle sitting in a turn lane may be blocked from view by a car or truck sitting in an adjacent lane, leading other drivers to believe there is no one waiting in that turn lane and they may attempt to go through the intersection. Additionally, a distracted driver may not be watching the road well enough to see a motorcyclist or may blow through a stop sign or red light, causing a crash.
Lack of visibility is only one factor that increases the risk of a motorcycle intersection accident. Another major risk factor is that intersections expose a motorcyclist to potential collisions from all directions – head-on, rear-end, and broadside collisions. A motorcyclist may be struck head-on by an oncoming vehicle, especially if the driver is distracted or drunk and allows the vehicle to swerve into the motorcyclist’s lane. Rear-end collisions are most common when a motorcyclist is sitting at an intersection, because distracted drivers often don’t realize a motorcyclist is sitting in their path of travel until it’s too late to stop safely. Broadside collisions, in which some part of a car hits the side of a motorcycle, are also more likely as a motorcyclist tries to navigate an intersection.
Increased Risk of Serious Injury
The risks to the motorcyclist of severe injury or death don’t stop at the moment of the intersection crash. Because a motorcyclist, unlike a driver, is not enclosed inside a vehicle, many collisions will cause the bike to fall over and the motorcyclist to be thrown off. An injured motorcyclist who lands in an intersection is in constant danger of injury from any driver who tries to navigate the intersection. A motorcyclist with broken bones, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury, or other serious injuries may be unable to move himself or herself to safety immediately after a crash, which increases the risk of further injury.
Holding Negligent Drivers Accountable
Motorcyclists are generally aware of the risks at intersections, particularly the risk that other drivers won’t see them. Motorcycle safety courses often emphasize intersection safety. However, drivers of cars and trucks may not be aware of the safety risks to motorcyclists. They may not put in the time or attention needed to notice motorcyclists in their path. Distractions like cell phone use or other forms of negligence or recklessness such as drug or alcohol use further reduce the chances that a driver will see or respond to a motorcyclist in an intersection in time to avoid a serious crash. However, when negligence is to blame, the motorcyclist and/or his or her family may be able to take legal action.
Our skilled St. Louis motorcycle accident attorneys have years of experience representing those who are injured in intersection crashes and their families. If you have been injured in a motorcycle intersection crash in Missouri or have lost someone you loved in such a collision, call us today for a free and confidential consultation at (314) 322-8515.