A 23-year-old Iowa man has pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of a 2019 accident – a crash which resulted in the death of a motorcyclist. Coverage of the case reveals that, after stopping at a stop sign on the morning of July 27, 2019, the driver proceeded to make a left turn, but failed to yield to oncoming traffic resulting in a collision. At the time, a police spokesperson said the driver left the scene briefly, fearing retaliation by witnesses, and that police “did not believe impairment or excessive speed were contributing factors” to the fatal motorcycle accident.
If Not Impaired Driving or Speed, Why So Many Motorcycle Accidents?
When answering this question, the first clue is that motorcyclists are most at risk when approaching intersections where a vehicle is making a left turn in front of them. In fact, it is the number one factor in motorcycle accidents and fatalities. Why is this true? Well, most drivers involved in motorcycle accidents report they “didn’t even see the motorcycle before turning in front of it” underscoring the fact that motorcyclists are just not being seen by motorists before accidents occur. Because of their smaller profile when compared to other motor vehicles, motorcycles tend to blend in with their surroundings, making them harder to see.
Driver Distraction and Motorcycle Accidents
In addition to visibility problems, driver distraction can make things worse. Drivers distracted by cell phones are a growing menace for everyone, but pose a significant risk to a motorcyclist who has little protection when things go wrong. Because a much lighter motorcycle is no match for your average motor vehicle and collisions often lead to serious injuries or death, drivers must stay attentive on the road to avoid collisions – it could be a matter of life or death.
Being Seen – Improving Motorcycle Visibility to Save Lives
Is there anything that can be done about seeing motorcyclists? Yes, motorists can improve the way they see the road by making an effort to look around, even at things that don’t seem important. The more consciously a driver looks around while driving, the better the chance they will see smaller vehicles such as motorcycles as well as pedestrians and bicyclists. This is especially important as the weather improves when many Iowans head out to enjoy the outdoors.
How Can Motorcyclists Protect Themselves
While all collisions may not be avoidable, there are steps motorcyclists can take to stay safe such as:
- Wearing bright colors. Motorcyclists and bicyclists alike should dress to be conspicuous so they stand out to other motorists. Wearing safety equipment such as a helmet, a secure jacket and shoes is also important in the event a motorcycle goes down in a near miss or a collision.
- Being aware of surroundings and traffic. Motorcyclists should remain ever vigilant to changing road conditions, especially pockets of increased traffic or places where traffic stops may result in unexpected crossings. It is important to map out possible escape routes if thing so wrong and allow time to react to situations by adjusting speed.
- Signaling intentions to increase your visibility to other drivers. Motorcyclists should be sure to signal lane changes and turns, which will alert other drivers to intentions.
Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Personal Injury Lawyers for Help
If you are injured in a car or motorcycle accident, the Davenport motorcycle accident lawyers of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson PC will obtain compensation for your injuries or pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim. Contact our personal injury and wrongful death attorneys for immediate assistance at 563-355-6478.