Inattentive drivers are not just a threat to motorcyclists — they endanger everyone on or near the road; from pedestrians to emergency personnel.
All across the U.S. alarming numbers of motorcycle fatalities occur when negligent drivers cause motorcycle accidents by failing to yield to bikers with the right-of-way, turning into or cutting off the rider. When a two-ton-plus vehicle collides with a motorcycle, the riders (and their passengers) always get the worst of it if they lack protection. When a driver’s inattention causes a bike rider’s (or passenger’s) injury or wrongful death, the injured victim, or their family, should contact a seasoned motorcycle accident lawyer – such as the northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan injury law firm of Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A., of Toledo, Ohio – to recover medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and all other rightful damages.
Recent research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), reveals that almost half (49 percent) of all fatal motorcycle crashes in 2011 and 2012 involved an automobile, pickup truck or SUV. And according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, 3,870 motorcycles were involved in wrecks in our state in 2014: 141 were fatal, and 2,910 resulted in rider/passenger injury. In 125 of the recorded fatalities, the motorcycle operator was killed, and in the remaining fatal motorcycle accidents, the passenger died. Some contributing causes were speed, rider inexperience, dangerous surfaces and road obstacles.
But a noticeable number of motorcycle wrecks are caused by another kind of negligent motorist. The NHTSA also calls distracted and inattentive drivers significant contributors to all motor vehicle crashes, including motorcycles.
According to NHTSA, driver inattention is a primary cause of vehicle crashes and near-crashes. In a companion study with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), NHTSA disclosed that four in five crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes were the result of driver inattention immediately before the wreck. It especially cited cell phone use (both conversations and texting), but other distractive behaviors were also mentioned.
Virtually every state has enacted new legislation to combat distracted or inattentive driving over the past several years. However, virtually all of these new laws focus almost exclusively on cell phone conversations and text messaging, even though other “low-tech” distracted driver behaviors remain relatively unaddressed, such as:
Any driving distraction, coupled with a general inability to see smaller motorcycles and their riders, is a recipe for trouble; because all driver inattention is negligence.
A few of these more aggressive new laws call for distracted or inattentive drivers who cause a crash to suffer enhanced (or greater) penalties that are similar to punishments for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This approach holds violators directly – and seriously – accountable for their negligence, and the more serious criminal conviction works against them if they must answer for their negligent actions in civil court.
Receiving full and fair compensation when a motorcyclist is hit by an inattentive driver is challenging because insurance companies don’t necessarily pay enough compensation to injured victims to cover past and future losses without a seasoned lawyer representing them. Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer’s staff, medical experts and economists calculate the cost of ALL your rightful damages and then aggressively work to recover them through focused settlement negotiations or at trial. Please call our Toledo, Ohio, office at 567-455-5470 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
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