This month, as I began to write my column I had just learned about a tragic accident that occurred in Lancaster County, PA, wherein five of six motorcyclists were killed after a horrible collision with another vehicle.
At press time, the exact cause of the accident was still unknown although it appears that the driver of the other vehicle came into the lane that the motorcyclists where occupying. Five were pronounced at the scene and the remaining passenger was in critical condition. Although, as a Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorney I am involved with many serious accidents on a regular basis, this is one of the worst I have heard about in a long time. This was echoed by one of the investigating Pennsylvania State Troopers who indicated it was the worst crash he had seen in his twenty years of service.
Although I do not believe I know any of the individuals personally, I want to express my deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of all of those riders whose lives where tragically ended while enjoying a sport that we all love.
I was moved to comment on this particular Pennsylvania motorcycle accident due to its severity and would like to remind each and every one of my readers that there is an inherent risk that we undertake every time we get on our bikes. Therefore, I would ask all of you to not only wear protective gear, but to be increasingly vigilant when riding, as there are more and more drivers who are driving while distracted. As such, it is extremely important to always use caution when approaching every intersection, stop light or stop sign. We must remain as vigilant as possible to avoid any potential obstacles which could lead to a motorcycle accident.
In my opinion, after twenty years of handling Pennsylvania motorcycle accidents, the most common cause of motorcycle accidents are drivers making left hand turns and pulling out from stop signs right in front of an oncoming motorcycle. Those two scenarios make up about 80-85% of the accidents I see. The remaining 15-20% consist of a variety of situations including everything from being hit from behind, to coming around a curve and being faced with an automobile which has taken the curve wide, to wet roads and/or debris on our Pennsylvania roadways.
In some of these cases, speed plays a roll in the causation of the accident. However, in many cases there simply isn’t much we can do to avoid impact. But, to decrease the odds of a collision, when approaching an intersection you should always assume that the other driver does not see you. This will put you in a defensive posture and will increase your reaction and avoidance time, if necessary. While this is no guarantee of avoiding an accident, any extra advantage might just be enough to avoid an incident. I often tell my wife, and my children, that I would rather slow down and avoid a possible accident than argue about who is at fault later.
Again, my deepest sympathies go out to all of those who knew and loved the riders that were tragically taken away from us as a result of this senseless Lancaster motorcycle accident and I wish the very best to the passenger who is still fighting to recover.
If you would like additional information on this topic, or any other Pennsylvania motorcycle accident lawyer questions, I can always be reached at 888-292-5352 (888-CYCLE-LAW).
LEE D. GABER, Esquire
The Cycle Attorney