Tailgating a Motorcycle Invites Danger

by William Mattar | June 25th, 2021

motorcycle not being followed to closelyThe headlights on your back. The distinct sound of the car’s pistons going up and down, clearly audible. The nervous apprehension: If I stop suddenly, will this car behind me have enough time to stop without crashing into the back of my bike?

Why Do Some Cars Follow Motorcycle Riders Too Closely?

I do not know for sure, but it happens every day. It is called tailgating, and while it can certainly be annoying for the “tailgated” motorist, it is also downright dangerous. Particularly for a motorcycle rider, whose body is not surrounded and somewhat protected by a steel frame car body but instead exposed to the road.

When Motorcyclists are Tailgated, the Consequences Can Be Serious, if Not Deadly.

Some statistics from the National Safety Council drive or “ride” this point home. While motorcycles make up just three percent of all registered vehicles and only .6% of all vehicle miles traveled in the country, motorcycle riders accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities in 2017.  That is a massive overrepresentation. It is no wonder that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that, per vehicle miles traveled in the year 2019, motorcyclist fatalities in traffic crashes occurred nearly 29 times more frequently than passenger car occupant fatalities.  These stats are unfortunate and sobering.

Motorcycle riders are vulnerable on our roads, and we all must act accordingly to protect their safety. Even the most rugged bike is less crashworthy than a sedan. To the extent that a motorcycle is relatively small (compared to the typical car), it can sometimes be more challenging to see. The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles has identified several factors that can make motorcycles less visible: they are smaller, appear to move faster, do not take up an entire lane, and their lighting is different than other vehicles.

We must all pay attention and act accordingly because when a driver fails to see and react to a motorcycle on the road, the consequences can be serious.

As you probably know, my firm helps motorcycle riders. We receive calls from riders who were injured after another motorist violated the rules of the road. The injuries may range in severity but once retained, we treat every motorcycle case with the same zeal and diligence because we know what is at stake — a lot. The injured biker’s right to hold the driver responsible and be made “whole” is at stake.

You might be entitled to compensation if you were hurt because another driver tailgated you or violated any other rule of the road. I hope this does not happen to you, but if it does, please do not hesitate to call me. William Mattar law offices is here to help. You know the number: 444-4444. Our accident injury attorneys can help you recover for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages.

(William Mattar, P.C., 6720 Main St., Williamsville NY)