Intersections are always potentially perilous for road users of all kinds. However, they are particularly dangerous for motorcyclists. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nearly 35 percent of motorcycle accidents deaths in a recent year occurred at intersections. This is an unfortunate indication that far too many people are losing their lives when other drivers are operating their vehicles in a negligent manner.
Common Causes of Intersection Motorcycle Accidents
The main reason that intersections present such danger to motorcyclists is that vehicles enter them from all directions. This means that car drivers who are not paying close attention to the action in an intersection may easily fail to see a motorcycle amid the rest of the oncoming traffic. This is particularly true in New York City, which has intense levels of traffic congestion as well as high numbers of bicyclists and pedestrians crossing the road.
Some of the most common types of intersection accidents for motorcyclists result from:
- Distracted driving – When a car driver is distracted by a cell phone, GPS device, or intense conversation, they may fail to see that a motorcyclist in front of them is slowing down for a red light or due to a sudden road hazard. This can lead to the driver rear-ending the motorcycle.
- Failure to yield – Drivers of passenger vehicles sometimes yield the right of way to motorcyclists, either deliberately or through negligence.
- Running red lights – It is no secret that New Yorkers are often in a hurry. However, when a rushed driver runs a red light at high speed, the results can be dangerous and even fatal to a motorcyclist who has entered the intersection.
- Inclement weather – When the road is wet, drivers may skid or slide when they are turning. This is particularly true in the first ten minutes of precipitation when rainwater mixes with dust that has settled to make a slick film on the surface of the road.
How to Avoid Intersection Accidents on Your Motorcycle
Drivers of passenger vehicles have a responsibility to be aware of all other road users, including motorcyclists. Nevertheless, if you’re a motorcycle rider, you can seriously reduce your chances of being involved in an intersection accident if you stick to the following advice:
- Make yourself visible – Wearing bright, reflective clothing can make you far more visible when you are on the road, including at an intersection. Investing in a high-vis vest and a brightly-colored helmet may well save your life.
- Avoid blind spots – When you are on your motorcycle, be sure not to follow too closely behind a semi-truck or to ride in the blind spots on either side of a car or truck. Remember that if you are unable to see the driver’s eyes in their vehicle’s mirrors, they will be unable to see you.
- Avoid riding during inclement weather – If you have a choice, do not ride your motorcycle when the weather is bad. Rain and snow can greatly reduce visibility, and slick roads can also increase the likelihood of collisions. If you must ride at these times, maintain a safe speed and allow for extra distance behind any vehicle you are following.
Contact an Experienced New York Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Even the most careful motorcyclists are sometimes the victims of accidents. If you have recently been injured in a motorcycle accident in New York and another driver was at fault, you have the right to claim compensation for your injuries. The experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at The Mandel Law Firm will fight for the full and fair compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us today at (646) 770-3868.