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Motorcycle accidents: Car and truck drivers may overlook cycles

There are many motorcycle enthusiasts in New Hampshire. There are also far too many vehicular accidents that involve motorcycles. Perhaps contrary to general opinion, many motorcycle accidents are caused by a car or truck operator who is operating his or her vehicle negligently.

An unfortunate fact of vehicle operations here and elsewhere is that operators of vehicles of the four-wheel or larger variety are inclined to ignore or fail to observe the presence of a motorbike on the road. Safety experts explain the phenomenon in terms of visual acuity and perceptual distractions of the car or truck operator. For example, a typical kind of motorcycle accident occurred recently in Rochester, New Hampshire.

A 76-year-old motorcycle driver from Rochester was traveling south on Old Dover Road in the middle of the afternoon. The 27-year-old male operator of a 2004 sedan was pulling out of a shopping center parking lot when he intruded into the motorcyclist's path, causing a serious collision. The cyclist was seriously injured and was airlifted to the Maine Medical Center.

Police are currently investigating the accident. If the reports of the events leading up to the collision prove to be accurate, the injured man has a reasonable legal claim for monetary damages from the car operator. Generally, the rules of the road regarding automobile and motorcycle accidents in New Hampshire and elsewhere mandate that where one vehicle comes from a side road or driveway into another vehicle's right of way, the intruding operator is negligent and the more likely cause of the accident. It seems in this case that the strange dynamic in which operators of larger vehicles tend to literally overlook or not see two-wheel cycles on the road may be a factor, but one that does not change the basic attribution of fault to the car driver.

Source:, "Rochester motorcyclist seriously hurt in collision with SUV", Rob Michaelson, May 24, 2017

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