When it comes to getting around New York City, a motorcycle offers a level of convenience and freedom that a car simply cannot provide. But motorcycles come with their own dangers. Because the overwhelming majority of motorcycle crashes result in injury or death, it is wise for drivers of all types of vehicles to be informed about the major causes of motorcycle accidents in New York and beyond.
Many collisions between automobiles and motorcycles are attributable to the driver's inability to see the motorcyclist before the accident occurs. This may be due to the driver's distraction, limited range of vision, improper use of mirrors or failure to check blind spots. It can also result from actions or omissions on the part of the motorcyclist, such as swerving in and out of traffic. By wearing reflective gear and using headlights, motorcycle riders can make themselves more noticeable. Drivers of cars, trucks and other vehicles should keep their attention on the road and maintain awareness of blind spots before changing lanes or making turns.
Speeding and unsafe lane changes are common factors in motorcycle accidents. A person operating a vehicle can endanger many others by failing to slow down with traffic or to round a curve in the road. Failure to adhere to the speed limit or to properly signal a turn or lane change, whether on the part of the motorcycle or automobile, can make it impossible for other drivers to practice safe defensive driving.
Lane splitting — where a motorcycle drives in the space between two lanes, sometimes bypassing other vehicles — is illegal in New York and presents a high a risk of accidents. Drivers of other vehicles may make lane changes without noticing a motorcycle next to them. It is especially difficult for drivers of traffic trailers and other large vehicles to keep track of motorcycles around them. On city streets, a lane-splitting motorcyclist may hit a suddenly-opened vehicle door.
New drivers have less experience with the challenges of navigating a vehicle on poorly maintained roads or in bad weather. While some inexperienced drivers make riskier moves on the road, while others may create additional danger by driving too slowly or hesitating to take the right-of-way when it belongs to them. Drivers and motorcyclists who take a defensive driving course may be able to better identify and avoid potential accidents waiting to happen.
The motorcycle accident attorneys of Orak & Associates, PC in Pearl River, New York represent riders and drivers hurt in New York City, Rockland County and Northern New Jersey collisions. We are committed to pursuing the best possible outcome for every client. To schedule a free initial consultation, call 917-216-8819 or contact us online.