When Drivers Fail to Yield, Motorcyclists Suffer Serious Consequences

It is well known that motorcyclists are vulnerable on the road. Motorcycles are smaller, less visible, and leave passengers unprotected. So, when a motorcycle is involved in a crash, the results can be devastating. The most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that over 4,000 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents in 2013. Over half those killed were involved in two-vehicle crashes, and one major cause of these accidents is a passenger car driver’s failure to yield.

What Is Failure to Yield?

A driver fails to yield when he disregards the rules of right of way and proceeds into traffic. For example, if a motorcycle is crossing an intersection and a passenger car traveling the opposite direction at the same intersection is turning left, the law requires the car to wait for the motorcycle to pass before completing the turn. If the car proceeds to turn before the motorcycle passes by, the driver of the car has failed to yield. Other common failure to yield situations occur when drivers are:

  • Pulling onto the road from a parking lot or driveway
  • Merging with traffic in other lanes
  • Approaching a flashing yellow light

Motorcycles and Failure to Yield

Motorcyclists often find themselves involved in accidents where a driver has failed to yield. An NHTSA report states that in two-vehicle crashes between a motorcycle and a passenger car, the car’s failure to yield to the motorcycle accounted for 35 percent of the accidents.

Drivers fail to yield and cause these crashes for a number of reasons. Most commonly, they simply don’t see the motorcycle, or they may be distracted or speeding. When cars and motorcycles collide, motorcyclists often suffer serious injury or are killed. Motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to be killed in a crash and five times more likely to be injured than those in passenger cars.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries while driving a motorcycle and you suspect the car driver violated the law by failing to yield, the experienced legal team at Tapella Law wants to help. Contact us to discuss your situation.