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Failure to Yield Motorcycle Accidents

Failing to yield to another driver can carry grim consequences. In 2021, the Empire State experienced 218 motorcyclist fatalities. When a motorcyclist and passenger vehicle driver are in a collision, a motorcyclist is 29 times more likely to suffer a fatality.

Sadly, not all drivers are well-versed in right-of-way laws. If you have been hit by another driver who failed to yield right-of-way, you need to speak with our Buffalo motorcycle accident lawyers.

What Factors Make Motorcyclists Less Visible to Drivers?

Motorcyclists have to follow the same traffic regulations as other drivers. Many motorcycle accidents occur due to another driver not seeing the motorcyclist.

In a recent year, 41% of motorcycle crashes that resulted in death occurred while a motorcyclist was passing, going straight, or approaching another vehicle from behind when the front vehicle was turning left.

There are several reasons that motorcyclists are less visible to other drivers:

  • Motorcycles are smaller, making it difficult for other motorists to judge how far away or how fast the motorcycle is traveling.
  • Another driver who attempts to pass a larger vehicle may not see that a motorcycle is in front of that vehicle until the driver is already in the passing lane.
  • Motorcycle headlights do not stand out when compared to a motor vehicle’s daytime running lights.
  • Motorcycle tail lights are not at eye level but mounted lower. Since the taillights on a motorcycle are always on, it is more difficult to spot the brake lights.
  • Turn signals on a motorcycle are mounted close to the headlight or taillights, making them harder to see.

New York Right-of-Way Laws

New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Code contains right-of-way laws for both motorists and pedestrians. Important right-of-way laws under Article 26 include:

  • §1140: A driver approaching an intersection must yield the right-of-way to a motorist approaching the intersection from a different highway. When two drivers reach an intersection concurrently, the driver of the vehicle on the left should yield the right-of-way to the driver on the right.
  • §1141: A driver turning left within an intersection will yield right-of-way to a motorist who is entering the intersection from the opposite direction.
  • §1142: Vehicle drivers must stop at stop signs. Motorists should yield right-of-way to the driver who arrives at the intersection first.
  • §1143: A motorist about to enter a roadway should yield to any other vehicles approaching the roadway or are already on the roadway.
  • §1145: A driver approaching a rotary or traffic circle should yield the right-of-way to drivers within the rotary or traffic circle.

Motorcycle Accidents and Traumatic Brain Injuries

A motorcyclist who collides with a motor vehicle driver may be thrown off his or her bike. Lacking the protection of an enclosed vehicle, a motorcyclist is more likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) upon impact. A traumatic brain injury is caused by any blow to the head, which may result in the brain shaking rapidly back and forth within the skull. The hardness of the skull can cause irreparable damage to brain tissue.

Symptoms can range in severity but may include loss of consciousness, vomiting, confusion, inability to speak, and a comatose state. In severe cases, a TBI can result in death.

Injured? Speak with Our Buffalo Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today

A motorcycle ride should be liberating, allowing you to enjoy the freedom of the open road. Unfortunately, too many drivers do not understand their duty to share the road with motorcyclists. If you have been the victim of a motorcycle accident, our dedicated team is ready to step in. To learn how we can help you, contact us online or by phone. We offer free consultations.