A multivehicle crash near the I-64/I-95 interchange in northern Richmond, Virginia (VA), left a motorcycle rider hospitalized with serious injuries. The wreck, which began when a car's driver made an unsafe lane change and cut off the motorcyclist, occurred on the afternoon of April 13, 2015. The car clipped the bike, causing the motorcyclist to fly off his two-wheeler and land on the pavement. That collision spun out the car, which was then struck by a tractor-trailer whose driver could not stop in time to avoid ramming the car.
The motorcyclist is expected to survive, but the exact nature and extent of his injuries were not reported. Ejections from motorcycles, especially at interstate speeds, often result in traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, lacerations and internal injuries to the victims' organs. My Virginia personal injury law firm colleagues and I wish the biker hurt in Richmond a full and rapid recovery.
More than anything else, this incident highlights the importance of making lane changes cautiously and safely. Drivers who fail to check their blind spots, do not use turn signals to alert others of their intention to move over, get confused about which lane they need to be in until the last second or simply act impatiently without waiting for a wide gap between neighboring vehicles greatly endanger themselves and others. Checking and rechecking for motorcycles is particularly important because their small size can make judging speed and distance difficult. Neither "I never even saw ..." nor "I did not want to get stuck behind ..." stands as an acceptable excuses for causing a crash by making an unsafe or illegal lane change.