Motorcycle Accidents and the Importance of Being Visible
Many motorcycle accidents occur when the other vehicle driver does not see the motorcycle or when the motorcycle operator's vision is blocked. Most multi-vehicle motorcycle accidents result from the driver of other vehicles violating the right-of-way of the motorcycle.
Motorcyclists sometimes assume that the other driver is aware of the presence of their motorcycle. A motorcycle, viewed head-on, often presents the smallest image of most vehicles on the roadway, and as a result, are unfortunately more susceptible to dangerous driving circumstances.Factors of Motorcycle Conspicuity
Such factors as headlight use and color of both the motorcycle and the rider's clothing can also increase or decrease conspicuity (the ability to be seen). These factors should be considered by all motorcyclists when traveling the roadways.
In many cases, the ultimate evidentiary question, when vision by the driver of the other vehicle is at issue, often comes down to whether the degree of attention paid was sufficient under the circumstances.Two Important Questions to Ask
Where the motorcycle is in a position to be seen, not hidden from view by some object, the evidence must answer two questions:
First, "would a reasonable driver under the circumstances be expected to see the motorcycle?" A driver may not be absolved of negligence by asserting that he maintained a continuous lookout when he failed to see what he clearly should have seen.
I'm Ed Smith, a motorcycle accident attorney in Sacramento. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, call our injury attorneys anytime for free, friendly advice at 916.921.6400 or 800.404.5400, or contact us online.
Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 5.7.21]
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