Grapevine Negligent Motorcycle Rider Accident Lawyer
For many Texans, motorcycles are an appealing alternative to driving a car. Driving a motorcycle can reduce commute time, make parking easier, and provide a more entertaining way to get around. Unfortunately, motorcycles come with a steep price: a very high accident rate.
Negligent motorcycle riders are often severely injured or killed in crashes. They also cause collisions that injure other drivers and pedestrians. Even a safe motorcyclist who wears a helmet and obeys the law still faces a higher risk of a fatal accident. When riders become reckless, this risk increases exponentially.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 4,900 motorcyclists were killed in 2018 alone. Many of these fatalities can be blamed on rider negligence. In 2017, 29% of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were operating their vehicle without a license. While negligent motorcycle riders often receive the worst injuries in a crash, they also hurt others and cause property damage.
Were you involved in an accident with a negligent motorcycle rider? Call (214) 305-8277 to speak to a Grapevine, TX motorcycle accident lawyer. Consultations are 100% free. Our accident lawyers will answer your questions and help you decide your next steps. If we take your case, you won’t be billed for our services unless we win.
Causes of Negligent Motorcycle Rider Accidents
Negligence is the root cause of many car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. Most adults commit a negligent act at some point in their driving career. Mistakes happen. Unfortunately, for a negligent motorcycle rider, the consequences are always more severe. “Minor” motorcycle accidents are comparatively rare.
Unlike cars and trucks, motorcycle riders don’t have any protection from their vehicle. Even with helmets and other safety gear, motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable in a collision. Riders can also be thrown from their motorcycle and collide with an object, or land in traffic and get hit by another car.
For the driver of a car, negligence can cause a minor fender-bender without injuries. A similar accident for a negligent motorcycle rider can lead to permanent disability or even death.
Here are some common reasons why negligent motorcycle accidents happen in Texas:
Lane splitting is a driving technique where a motorcyclist drives in between two lanes of traffic. In many states, lane splitting is illegal because it carries such a high collision risk. Currently, lane splitting is legal in Texas, but not recommended. Even an experienced motorcycle rider can cause an accident by lane splitting.
This happens because most drivers don’t expect motorcyclists to ride so close to their vehicle. When lane splitting, negligent motorcyclists are often in a driver’s blind spot. The driver may hit them while changing lanes or merging.
Lane splitting can also cause drivers to crash into other cars. The driver may see the negligent motorcycle rider at the last minute, swerve to avoid hitting them, but crash into another car in the process. A negligent motorcycle rider who is lane splitting may also cause an accident by simply startling other drivers.
While many motorcyclists are safe and responsible, these vehicles often attract “adrenaline junkies” who are prone to reckless driving. Many motorcyclists speed and weave through traffic. They are also prone to running red lights and tailgating.
This reckless driving behavior can cause serious accidents. Negligent motorcycle riders who break the law can endanger everyone around them. They can cause serious collisions, including multi-car pile-ups or accidents involving pedestrians.
Lack of Safety Equipment
The Insurance Information Institute (III) estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,872 motorcyclists in 2017. Helmets prevent fatal injuries among motorcycle riders and motorcycle passengers. The NHTSA also estimates that almost $21 billion in comprehensive costs, such as medical bills and property damage, were saved due to helmet use among motorcyclists.
In Texas, motorcycle riders over age 21 are not required to wear helmets or other safety equipment. Unfortunately, this dramatically increases a negligent motorcycle rider’s risk of injury or death.
Driving Under the Influence
Riding a motorcycle is often a social activity. Many people enjoy riding motorcycles with their friends on the weekend or taking trips together. While socializing itself is harmless, it often leads to more motorcycle riders driving under the influence. Remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving. A motorcyclist who has only had a few drinks is still severely impaired.
Some negligent motorcycle riders also use illegal drugs. Marijuana, cocaine, opioids, and other illicit substances prevent a motorcycle rider’s ability to drive safely. This results in crashes that can injure the motorcyclist as well as drivers or passengers in other vehicles.
Illegal Street Racing
Because of their high speeds and nimble steering, many people love to race motorcycles. However, street racing is illegal in Texas. Illegal street racing is one of the ways negligent motorcycle riders cause accidents.
By speeding, a negligent motorcycle rider engaged in an illegal street race can easily lose control of their vehicle. They may be unable to stop in time to avoid an accident and crash into another car. These riders also cause accidents by rapidly weaving in and out of traffic. A car may crash into another vehicle to avoid hitting the motorcycle rider.
Because they only have two wheels, motorcycles are extra vulnerable to slippery roads. During bad weather, the motorcycle accident rate increases. Icy or flooded roads affect the motorcycle’s tire traction. The rider may have difficult braking and may skid, tip over, or fall off their motorcycle in bad weather.
Responsible motorcyclists try to avoid riding in storms and other bad weather conditions. Negligent motorcycle riders disregard the forecast. They may also cause an accident by speeding during bad weather.
What to Do After an Accident Involving a Negligent Motorcycle Rider
If you’re involved in an accident with a negligent motorcycle rider, contact a lawyer right away. If you survived with minimal injuries while the motorcycle rider was severely hurt or killed, you may need extra help — even if you didn’t cause the accident.
Call our Grapevine, TX law offices today by dialing (214) 305-8277 to schedule a free consultation.