You’re headed home from work on Independence Avenue with the wind in your hair, wondering how long you can use your motorcycle to commute before you’ll have to store it again for the winter. You barely had time to consider how fast this summer has flown by before you watch a McDonald’s drink cup drift into your lane, catch a breeze, and bounce off of your helmet. You shake your head, thankful that it was empty (this time), and wondering why most drivers can’t think for anyone but themselves.
Five Common Ways Speeding Cars Cause Motorcycle Crashes
In addition to rear-ending a bike or striking a motorcyclist head-on in an intersection, there are many ways drivers can seriously injure bikers even as they travel side by side on Kansas City highways. Here are a few common ways passing cars can be devastating for bikers on the expressway:
- Distractions. Cell phones and drowsy driving are a leading cause of all car accidents, but if a driver drifts into a neighboring lane and strikes a motorcyclist, the consequences are likely to be fatal for the biker. Even if the biker is able to avoid a sideswipe crash, he may lose control of his bike and skid off of the highway.
- Mirrors. A car’s mirrors may prevent many accidents, but drivers often don’t realize how far their exterior mirrors stick out from the vehicle. Coming too close to another car will mean the loss of your mirror, but hitting a cyclist with a mirror may mean the loss of a hand or an arm.
- Overtaking. Drivers are not supposed to use any portion of a biker’s lane when passing, but cars often assume that any space the biker is not using is “fair game” when overtaking. As a result, drivers may swerve out from behind the biker too quickly or cut too closely in front when merging.
- Speeding. Cars can cause bikers to crash even when they do not make contact with the motorcycle. A speeding car traveling next to a biker generates a sudden gust of wind—and the larger the vehicle, the harder it is for the biker to maintain control.
- Garbage. Although it is illegal to do so, many drivers still throw garbage and other objects out of their car windows as they speed down the highway. At the very least, this creates road debris that the biker will have to swerve suddenly to avoid; at worst, the object could fly into the motorcyclist’s face, obscuring his vision or knocking him off of his bike.
Attorney James Roswold knows all too well the difficulties bikers face on the roads—and that includes pursuing an accident claim. In his book, The Devil’s Advocate: a Biker’s Guide to Accidents & Injuries, he explains how motorcyclists are often blamed for bike accidents, and what injured bikers can do to protect their rights. Click the link on this page to begin reading!