Motorcycle Duty of Care

What Is a Motorcycle Rider’s Duty of Care?

What Is a Motorcycle Rider’s Duty of Care?

It is essential to show who was negligent or at-fault among the drivers in any road accident. It is necessary for the process when seeking compensation for damages. The same applies to collisions involving motorcycles. In this post, let’s go over the duty of care of every motorcycle rider and the instances when he may be liable for damages.

Motorcycle accidents are often severe. Motorcycle riders have little to no protection that can minimize their injuries upon collision, unlike car drivers who have vehicle doors that reduce impact in an accident.

Four-wheel car drivers must pay the same respect to motorcycle riders that they give to other road users. They must consider the severe consequences that may arise in this type of accident. Accordingly, auto drivers must adhere to the duty of care. And in the same way, motorcycle riders must reciprocate. Suppose any of them fails to exercise reasonable care in operating a two-wheeled or a four-wheeled vehicle and an accident occurs. Hence, they may be liable for damages.

Definition of Negligence

As applied in auto accidents, negligence is the failure of a driver to observe ordinary diligence. The degree of care that every driver must exercise is that of an ordinarily prudent man who falls under the same circumstances. So in the event of heavy rain, for instance, a reasonably prudent man will likely slow down to avoid any accident on the road. Failure to uphold this duty of care resulting in an accident will make the driver negligent and liable for damages.

What are the examples of negligence on the road? Speeding is one. Ideally, every driver must maintain moderate speed when handling their vehicle. It allows optimum control over the automobile. So when the driver needs to stop to avoid a collision or hitting a passenger, he can timely do so.

Failing to yield and beating the red light are two of the most common road violations today. When a driver hits another as a consequence of performing these violations, he is presumed negligent. That’s because a violation of road regulations, ordinances, or laws raises the presumption that the driver has been negligent.

A driver with impaired mental faculties may have a diminished capacity to think and make judgments while operating his vehicle. Thus, he becomes a danger on the road.

Duty of Care of Every Motorcycle Driver

While motorcycles represent around 2 percent of the total number of registered motor vehicles in the U.S., it accounts for about 8 percent in traffic fatalities. Following these figures, motorcycle riders are 30 times more likely to get killed in a road accident than a four-wheel vehicle driver.

So why is the fatality rate disproportionately high? There are many inherent dangers of being a motorcycle driver. On the one hand, it’s the other drivers. Some drive too close to the two-wheel riders. Others display an aggressive style of driving without regard to the motorcycle drivers’ well-being.

On the other hand, two-wheel riders may also neglect their duty of care when driving. Some speed up to beat the red light or don’t slow down at the intersection. As a result, they collide with other road users.

One of the common practices that motorcycle riders do is lane splitting. States like California deem it unsafe and thus made it illegal. Also known as lane sharing, a motorcycle travels between two lanes occupied by two or more cars. Due to the little room to maneuver and being very close to the other vehicles, motorcycles often fall in the other drivers’ blind spots.

Stigma Against Motorcycle Riders

Many perceive that motorcycle drivers are less responsible. It can be hurtful to a rider’s case, affecting his personal injury lawsuit against erring drivers.

Have you ever been injured in a motorcycle accident? As with any auto accident, it is essential to prove negligence in setting up a valid claim for damages. Otherwise, there would be no right to recover compensation.

Contact us. We can help you proceed with your claim for damages against negligent drivers.


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