As a personal injury attorney who handles a LOT of motorcycle crashes, I feel confident in saying that one of the greatest dangers to bikers is turning vehicles. As every biker well knows, people in cars just don’t see bikers; they turn in front of them and cut them off not because they are malicious, but bikers just don’t register on their radar. The majority of the motorcycle collisions I handle in New York and Pennsylvania involve cars turning in front of motorcycles, and unfortunately, these types of accidents often involve VERY significant injuries. When a car turns in front of a motorcycle, there is often nothing the biker can do to avoid a collision. The biker sometimes tries to get around the car, lays the bike down, or drives off the road entirely to try to avoid the collision, but the end result is usually the same: a seriously injured biker.
A recent incident in the city of Elmira illustrates my point. On November 17, 2009, a biker proceeding north on Clemens Center Parkway ended up in a collision with a pickup truck owned and operated by Judson Route of Roaring Branch, PA. The Judson vehicle was heading South on Clemens Center Parkway, and turned left onto East Water Street when the biker was so close to the intersection that he could not avoid a collision. The Elmira Star Gazette covered the incident here.
I’m sure Mr. Route didn’t mean to pull in front of the biker. I’m sure Mr. Route is a pleasant enough fellow who would never dream of intentionally causing a collision. But that is the risk bikers face every time they get on their motorcycle; some wonderful person could have a moment of inattention which fundamentally alters the life of the biker and his or her loved one.
To our biker friends, ride like you are invisible, because too many times you are!
Thanks for reading,
ZiffLaw Attorney, Esq.
NY and PA Motorcycle Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY 14901