A collision between an SUV and a motorcycle in Virginia Beach, VA, left the motorcyclist dead, the driver of the larger vehicle hospitalized with injuries and police searching for a cause. The deadly crash happened between 7:00 pm and 7:30 pm on March 11, 2018, at the intersection of S. Independence Boulevard and Rainbow Drive.
The motorcycle rider died at the scene, which is a four-way intersection without stoplights. Motorists attempting to enter or turn across Independence from Rainbow Drive do need to stop for stop signs, so questions about who had the right of way will need to be answered if either of the people involved in this wreck was turning right or left.
Investigators will also need to determine if the motorcycle rider or SUV driver was speeding, distracted, following too closely, or attempting to make an unsafe lane change. Figuring if and how either of the people involved acted negligently will determine who was at fault and who has the legal right to file personal injury or wrongful death claims.
The broad array of possible explanations for how this fatal collision occurred speaks to the deadly dangers motorcyclists face each time they ride. During 2017, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles recorded 2,119 crashes involving motorcycles. Those wrecks inflicted injuries that were serious enough to require medical treatment on 1,794 motorcyclists, and they killed another 107 riders. Combining those casualty totals shows a nearly one-to-one ratio between motorcycle crashes and serious injuries or deaths.
As wrongful death attorneys in Virginia Beach who have helped many injured motorcycle riders and dozens of families who lost loved ones in traffic crashes, we know that drivers must share the road safely and respectfully with motorcyclists. Failing to do so too often results in irreversible tragedies.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers these tips for complying with its biggest piece of advice to see each motorcycle and to see each rider as more than the bike, but as a neighbor, relative and friend:
- Because of its narrow profile, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots (door/roof pillars) or masked by objects or backgrounds outside a car (bushes, fences, bridges, etc.). Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles, whether you're changing lanes or turning at intersections.
- Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it is. It may also be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into (or out of) a driveway, predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks.