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Sideswipe Motorcycle Accidents: Dangers for Motorcyclists

By Sean Burke on April 17, 2018

Aftermath of a motorcycle accidentA sideswipe collision refers to the side of one vehicle colliding with the side of another vehicle. These kinds of accidents are most common when vehicles are changing, merging, or making turns. While they may not seem as serious as t-bone collisions or head-on auto accidents, motorcyclists can be seriously injured in a sideswipe crash. These kinds of collisions could cause the motorcyclist to lose control of their vehicle or even get run over by the vehicle that struck them.

Given the nature of riding a motorcycle and the structure of traditional motor vehicles, these kinds of accidents are a common hazard among people who ride motorcycles. Our Orange County, CA lawyers consider some common causes of sideswipe collisions and what your legal options may be.

Problems with Vehicle Blind Spots

Vehicle blind spots are a particular hazard when it comes to sideswiping motorcyclists. A driver checking their rearview and side mirrors still may not notice a motorcyclist who is in their blind spot. When merging or turning, this driver may wind up striking the motorcyclist. This is why it’s important for drivers to turn their head to check their blind spot, and to remain attentive of anyone who is riding or driving nearby.

Lane Splitting and Sideswipe Accidents

The state of California is the only place in America where lane splitting is legal. Lane splitting refers to motorcyclists riding along the line between lanes. This can be dangerous if the motorcyclist is not cautious. In fact, riding so close to a vehicle at city street or highway speeds will simply increase the risk of a sideswipe collision.

If you are a motorcyclist, be sure to exercise caution when you split lanes. While it is legal, it may not be advisable or prudent.

Issues with Driver Inattention

In recent years, there has been more discussion about driver inattention and the role that plays in auto accidents. Distractions such as cellphones and tablets make distracted driving more likely. It’s been estimated that on a given day in the United States, roughly 660,000 drivers are using an electronic device while behind the wheel.

People driving cars need to put their phones down while driving. Even a second of distraction could mean the difference between a sideswipe accident with a motorcyclist and safely avoiding a collision.

Greater Hazards with Large Vehicles

While the hazards of blind spots and driver inattention are serious among passenger cars and trucks, these dangers are heightened when motorcyclists are riding around tractor-trailers and buses. Large trucks and other vehicles of such a size have major blind spots, and drivers may not be able to notice someone adjacent to their vehicle until it’s too late.

Motorcyclists must exercise additional caution when they are riding beside a large vehicle. Always drive with caution, and make sure people who are driving large vehicles notice you when you are near them.

Holding Negligent Drivers Accountable

If you or a loved one was injured in a sideswipe collision, you may be able to seek compensation for the negligent motorist if they were at-fault. These damages will cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses associated with the collision. A lawyer at our firm can consider the evidence in your case and offer advice on your legal options moving forward.

Contact the Team at Burke Law

For more information about your legal rights and options following a motorcycle accident, be sure to contact an experienced auto accident attorney. We will work closely with you to ensure your legal rights are properly represented and expected.

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