All licensed drivers are responsible for observing the surrounding conditions and yielding the right-of-way in accordance with Arizona law. Still, drivers of large vehicles often fail to notice smaller vehicles. When the smaller vehicle is a motorcycle, the results can be tragic. Even motorcyclists who drive responsibly are vulnerable to serious, life-threatening injuries that result from other motorists’ mistakes, so it is vital that they take all possible measures to protect their own safety on the road.
In February 2014, a collision between a garbage truck and a motorcycle in Phoenix illustrated the importance of visibility. The truck driver pulled out of a driveway without yielding the right-of-way to a motorcycle on the road, leaving the biker in critical condition. The accident occurred during daylight hours, and the police reported no indication of drunk driving on the part of the truck driver.
Maybe this was a case of visibility issues between a large truck and a small motorcycle, or maybe the truck driver did not look carefully before proceeding out of the driveway. However, it seems clear that bikers might avoid accidents like this one by taking extra measures to remain highly visible, such as the following:
- Use bright colors — A brightly colored motorcycle is hard to miss, even for unobservant drivers. Wearing bright clothing and reflective material adds to visibility on the road.
- Choose appropriate lane positioning — Large vehicles in particular might not see a bike driving too close, so when driveways or cross streets are at issue, moving to the side of the lane farthest from other vehicles might increase drivers’ ability to see you.
- See other vehicles before they see you — Rather than counting on other drivers to see you, remain alert and aware of traffic situations in the immediate area. You may need to slow down or otherwise plan an escape route to avoid a sudden collision.
More than one-half of crashes between motorcycles and cars involve drivers entering the right-of-way of riders. Even when bikers are not at fault, they pay a steep price in these collisions. If you or a loved one is injured in a crash, contact an experienced Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney who knows how to advocate for your interests in these complex situations.