From the start, riding a motorcycle presents a higher risk than traveling by car. Motorcycle accidents cause death or serious injuries at a higher rate than car accidents. According to the federal government, per mile traveled in 2006, motorcycle accidents caused 35 times more deaths than car accidents.
How Are Cars and Motorcycles Different in Regards to Traffic Laws?
Motorcycle riders often can’t claim monetary damages from their own insurance company. Usually, when they are in an accident with a car or truck, the other driver remains unscathed, but the motorcycle driver suffers severe injuries and damage.
Whoever acts negligently in a motorcycle accident will be held accountable. Usually, the negligent party is the driver of the other vehicle, such as a car or truck driver, who, for example, failed to see the motorcycle driver in their mirrors.
Of course, the motorcycle driver can be the negligent party. The law forbids motorcycle drivers from lane splitting. A motorcycle driver’s lane splits when they maneuver their bike between two lanes of stalled or slow-moving traffic to advance through a traffic jam.
Lane splitting causes accidents because the motorcycle driver puts themself closer to cars than necessary. There’s less space for the motorcyclist to maneuver their bike. Often, cars don’t expect that a motorcycle would pass them in slow traffic.
Keep in mind that North Carolina enforces “contributory negligence,” so if the motorcyclist owns any responsibility for the accident, it can be challenging to receive monetary damages.
Regarding safety laws, the law requires car drivers and passengers to wear seat belts. However, motorcycles don’t have seatbelts. Instead, the law requires motorcycle drivers to wear helmets.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been Involved In A Traffic Accident With A Motorcycle?
If you’ve been in a traffic accident and were driving a motorcycle or hit a motorcyclist, call the Hyland & Padilla offices right away.
Our legal team has 50 years of combined experience navigating the traffic laws of North Carolina. We offer prospective clients complimentary consultations to help you understand your chances and options in your case.