A Greene County couple is dead after their motorcycle was read-ended at a traffic light on Saturday night. According to Kmov.com, the motorcycle was stopped in traffic, attempting to turn left onto Kane Road, when a pick-up truck crashed into the back of it. The motorcycle’s 46-year old driver and 42-year old passenger were both ejected from the vehicle. Authorities pronounced them dead at the scene and reported neither the driver or the passenger was wearing a helmet. The 21-year old driver of the pick-up truck was uninjured and was later charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. An accident reconstruction team was called to southbound US 67 at Kane road just after 7pm, and investigations into the crash are currently ongoing.
From the perspective of our motorcycle accident attorneys, motorcycle riders who are stopped for a traffic light or are traveling at a slow speed are at a very high risk for being rear-ended. This particular type of collision is especially dangerous and often traumatic for motorcyclists, who are more vulnerable than drivers inside of a car or truck.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s “Fatality Analysis Reporting System” found that cars and trucks are almost equally likely to rear-end motorcycles. It also found that frontal impacts and impacts with fixed objects are two of the most harmful events in fatal motorcycle crashes; even so, rear-ended collisions continue to lead to injury and fatality to drivers and passengers involved in the accident.
Basic rules of the road require that all motorists are able to stop safely if a vehicle stops ahead of them. If they are not able to stop in time and rear-end a leading vehicle, they are not driving as safely as needed. The driver of a following vehicle has a responsibility to drive at a distance from the leading vehicle that is appropriate under the particular circumstances at that time (speed limit, traffic conditions, etc.) Thus, if someone hits you from behind, it is almost always his or her fault, regardless of the reason you stopped. Furthermore, in some situations both you and the car behind you will be stopped when a third car runs into both of you. In these chain-reaction collisions, it is the driver of the third car who is generally at fault.
Of course, compensation for an accident caused by a rear-end collision may be reduced for the driver who was hit from behind if he or she was traveling in any careless or negligent manner. This includes driving with one or both brake or tail lights out, failing to move to the side of the road if the vehicle experienced mechanical problems, or driving inattentively or distractedly in any way. Motorcyclists can decrease the risk of being struck from behind by another driver by wearing bright clothing and helmets to make them more visible on the road, keeping their headlights on, staying out of other drivers’ blind spots, and driving defensively.
Our law firm has successfully helped many clients who have suffered personal injury in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver’s negligence. If you are a motorcycle driver that has experienced injury due to your involvement in a rear-end accident, it is important to seek quality representation to help determine where liability falls, as well as determine what rights and compensation may be available to you. Please contact us to discuss your legal options.