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Negligent drivers can be held accountable for motorcycle crashes

Although fall has officially started, residents in Pennsylvania will often continue to experience warm weather for quite some time. This means motorists will also continue to share the road with motorcyclists until the frigid weather rolls in. Whether a motorist is traveling near a motorcyclist, is turning on a road in front of a motorcyclist, entering an intersection with a motorcyclist or is traveling behind a motorcyclist, certain steps need to be taken to ensure safety.

Unfortunately, even when motorcyclists have the right-of-way, not all motorists recognize it. The small size of a motorcycle can make it difficult for other drivers to see them, and if a driver is distracted, negligent or distracted, it can be difficult to properly stop or safely maneuver to prevent a motorcycle crash.

According to relatively recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,957 motorcyclists were killed in 2012 due to a motor vehicle traffic collisions. This was an increase of 7 percent from 2011, which had 4,630 fatal motorcycle accidents. With regards to motorcycle crashes involving injuries, there were 93,000 in 2012, which was a 15 percent increase from 2011.

Of all the motorcycle crashes occurring in 2012, 52 percent of fatal crashes collided with another type of vehicle that was traveling at the time of the crash. With regards to two-vehicle collisions, 75 percent of the motorcycles involved in the accident collided with the vehicle in front of them while only 7 percent were struck in the rear.

Regardless of the point of impact, many of these collisions occurred because another party was negligent. Such a situation often results in a motorcyclist suffering serious injuries such as a head injury or a broken bone. This is true even when protective equipment is worn.

When another driver is at fault for a motorcycle crash, that driver could be held accountable. Liability could be placed on that driver via a personal injury claim or wrongful death suit. These legal actions could help an injured party or loved ones recover compensation for losses and damages.

Source: Crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov, "Motorcycles," accessed Sept. 30, 2016

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