A motorcycle rider fell victim to a hit-and-run driver in Newport News, Virginia (VA), early on the morning of February 3, 2022. State Police received a good description of the car operated by the fleeing driver, but the investigation into the crash remained open into the following day.

According to news reports, the wreck happened shortly before 6 am, shutting down traffic into the shipyard. A 38-year-old motorcyclist sustained injuries and was transported to Riverside Regional Hospital for treatment.

People who stopped to assist the motorcycle rider described the fleeing vehicle as a white 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix. The collision broke off part of the car’s front bumper, and witnesses gave investigator a partial plate of “CCM.”

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My Virginia personal injury law firm colleagues and I are encouraged by those last details because they indicate state troopers are likely to find the hit-and-run driver. That could make it easier for the injured motorcyclist to receive compensation for crash-related medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Why Drivers Hit Motorcycle Riders

We cannot know the precise cause of this collision on I-664 in Newport News until the fleeing driver is apprehended and interviewed by law enforcement officials. But decades of investigations into similar crashes, as well as scientific research on drivers’ behavior, indicate that people in cars and trucks hit others on motorcycles simply because they do not see or look for the two-wheeled vehicles.

Drivers fail to check their blind spots when changing lanes, turning or backing out of parking spaces. Individuals who do perform visual scans before making a move generally only check their blind spots once instead of confirming what they believe they saw the first time.

These unsafe habits are compounded by the physical reality that motorcycles are small and easy to miss when a driver is not actively thinking “Watch for motorcycles.” This visibility issue is made even worse when it is dark out, like at 6 am during the winter, and when vehicles are moving at speed, like on I-664.

The fact that motorcycles are easy to overlook actually gives drivers a greater responsibility for actively watching out for motorcycles. To say nothing of remaining on the scene when a crash does occur. Should the driver involved in this hit-and-run in Newport News remain at large, the injured motorcyclist should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer about pursuing underinsured motorist claims under their own insurance policy.

EJL