The Geneva Finger Lakes Times reports that an 11 year-old Dundee girl, a passenger on her father’s motorcycle, suffered a leg injury Friday when an oncoming car turned left in front of it in an attempt to enter a driveway off of Dundee-Starkey Road in the Town of Starkey, Yates County, New York. The motorist was ticketed for failure to yield the right-of-way to the oncoming motorcycle. The child was taken by Mercy-Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York.
How sad that such a young child has to have such an injury, and through no fault of her own. We hope that it is not too serious, but the fact that she was airlifted to Rochester is not a good sign.
I can tell you from my experience as a Central New York motorcycle accident lawyer that this failure-to-yield car/motorcycle collision is very, very common. I bet the driver of the car never “saw” the motorcycle. One of the big dangers of riding bikes is that other motorists just don’t “see” you, even with your lights on! So they cut you off, violate your right of way, and sometimes injury or kill you.
Of course this is no legal justification. A vehicle driver is REQUIRED not only to “look”, but to SEE motorcycles and other vehicles, and to yield the right-of-way to them when so required. The car driver here appears to be clearly liable for this collision, and for the resulting injuries.
But the facts of life are what they are. Motorcycles will, probably forever, remain “invisible” to many vehicle operators. So never assume that drivers of other vehicles see you. Try to make eye contact with them if they are going to turn across your lane. And just in case, plan an escape route for when they turn into your lane without seeing you. Better still, try to keep as far to the right as you can so that you will have more time to react to the left-turning vehicle and avoid the collision.
Bottom line: Bikers, ride with the understanding that you are invisible to many motorists!