Summertime in Oregon is an excellent time to take in the scenery aboard a motorcycle. As motorcyclists know, whenever they hit the road, they are among the most vulnerable to serious or fatal injuries if a collision occurs. Often, much or all of the blame for these catastrophic crashes rests upon a car, truck, or SUV driver who failed to maintain a properly diligent lookout. When that happens and a severe or fatal injury impacts your family, a knowledgeable Portland motorcycle accident lawyer can provide you with invaluable aid as you navigate the legal system.
Sadly, the last several weeks have been extremely deadly for motorcyclists across Oregon. In late June and early July alone, two crashes in Central Oregon left two motorcyclists dead.
In the June crash, the driver of a Ford Thunderbird collided with a motorcyclist and his passenger at an intersection along Highway 97. Oregon State Police indicated that the driver of the car “failed to stop at the intersection,” colliding with the couple’s motorcycle. The driver of the motorcycle, a 65-year-old man from Washington, died at the scene. The passenger, the deceased’s 62-year-old wife, suffered critical injuries, according to a Central Oregon Daily report.
Slightly more than a week later, the location was a highway west of Redmond. The driver of a Chevrolet Impala “tried to turn left into a pullout on the westbound shoulder,” according to the Oregon State Police’s preliminary investigation.
When the driver began executing the left turn, he crashed into a Terrebonne man aboard a motorcycle, who had been behind the car before the turn. The motorcyclist died at the scene, according to a KTVZ report.
In addition to charging the man with reckless driving, the state also charged him with driving under the influence of drugs.
The Dangers that Motorcycle Riders Frequently Face
These two accidents make for stark reminders of how other drivers can endanger motorcycle riders. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that more than one-fourth of all fatal motorcycle accidents (29%) involved a driver who was driving while under the influence. In 41% of motorcycle-versus-car/truck/SUV crashes where a motorcyclist died, the other driver was making a left turn when the collision occurred.
Motorcyclists can take certain steps to enhance their safety on the roads, such as obeying all rules of the road and avoiding dangerous driving techniques like speeding or reckless driving. Motorcyclists can only do so much, though. Other drivers who share the road also must obey the laws and always diligently maintain a watchful lookout behind the wheel, even for those who are easier to overlook, like motorcyclists and pedestrians. When a driver doesn’t do those things, and the result is a fatally or catastrophically injured motorcycle rider, that driver should be held accountable for the harm they’ve caused.
The knowledgeable Oregon motorcycle injury attorneys at Kaplan Law LLC are here to help motorcyclists and their families do exactly that. Our experienced attorneys have been representing motorcycle crash victims for many years, and we understand the unique aspects of motorcycle accidents and the injuries they inflict. Whether dealing with insurance companies, the courts, or opposing attorneys, we offer our clients personalized and zealous representation at each step of the process. Call us today at (503) 226-3844 or contact us online to set up your free consultation.