Intersection Accidents for Motorcyclists

Intersection Accidents: Why Motorcyclists Are At Heightened Risk

Intersection accidents pose significant risks to all drivers and road users, but motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable. With their smaller size and reduced visibility, motorcyclists face unique challenges at intersections that drive up their chances of being seriously hurt in a collision. It’s the responsibility of everyone on the road to ensure that the road’s most vulnerable users, including motorcyclists and bicyclists, can stay safe.

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident in Pittsburgh, the team at Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman is here to help. Call us at 412-253-2925 to set up a consultation with our team immediately.

Causes of Intersection Accidents

Intersection accidents are caused by a wide range of problems and mistakes, but the majority are the result of human error. People are in a rush, see the light turn yellow, and are confident they have time to make it through—this results in them entering the intersection on a red light and either hitting oncoming traffic or running into someone trying the same maneuver as them. However, accidents can even happen when the lights have already changed. Distracted drivers may approach an intersection while looking down at their phones, only to enter the intersection and T-bone a vehicle with the right of way.

Factors Putting Motorcyclists in Danger

Motorcyclists face several factors that elevate their risk of intersection accidents. One significant factor is reduced visibility. Unlike larger vehicles, motorcycles are less visible to other drivers, especially at busy intersections where drivers only have a fraction of a second to check blind spots. Drivers are looking for large vehicles when checking, and smaller vehicles like motorcycles may not even register in their minds.

Another factor is how difficult it can be to assess accurately a motorcyclist’s speed. When drivers are trying to decide whether or not to enter the intersection for a left turn, they naturally estimate oncoming drivers’ speed. That’s harder to do with motorcyclists, simply because we don’t encounter them as often. Miscalculating their speed can lead to motorcycle collisions.

How These Accidents Uniquely Affect Motorcyclists

Intersection accidents can have devastating consequences for motorcyclists due to their inherent vulnerability. Even low-speed collisions can result in severe injuries or fatalities due to the lack of protective barriers. Common injuries include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, fractures, and road rash. Riders have almost no protection from other vehicles, the road, and other dangers. Even riders wearing helmets and other protective gear fare far worse than those in other vehicles.

Furthermore, motorcyclists are at risk of secondary accidents after an initial intersection accident. If they are thrown from their motorcycle, they may not be immediately visible to other vehicles traveling in that lane of traffic. This often leads to secondary crashes which cause further injuries for the rider.

Mitigating Intersection Collisions

There is a lot of work to be done when it comes to improving intersection safety and minimizing motorcycle accidents. Some of this work is structural in nature. Intersections must be timed in such a way that those on a yellow light have time to cross safely and those about to get a green light are safe from last-minute red-light runners. Additionally, many municipalities research intersections where accidents frequently occur. This gives them insight into why these accidents occur and what they can do to stop them.

A lot of the responsibility falls on drivers in these scenarios. They are the ones in control of more dangerous vehicles, and they have an obligation to keep those in more vulnerable positions safe. Drivers must get used to looking for motorcyclists while driving, leaving plenty of space for riders while making turns, and remember that riders are just as entitled to the road as they are. Once we get to a place where drivers accept motorcyclists as equal partners on the road, accident rates will likely start to drop.

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Call Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman Now

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Pittsburgh motorcycle accident, the team at Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Schedule your free consultation now by filling out our online contact form or giving us a call at 412-253-2925.