Motorcycle laws and precautions By Michael Joseph on July 12, 2021

Our New York City wrongful death lawyers, who handle motorcycle fatality and bicycle fatality accident cases, know that car and truck driver's negligence continues to result in the wrongful death of both motorcyclists and bicyclists on New York City streets. 

This summer saw a tragic motorcycle fatality. On June 19,,2021 a 36 year old motorcyclist was taking his girlfriend , to work in the morning when he lost control of his motorcycle as he tried to zip around a Mack truck on Rogers Ave. near Bergen St. in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the New York City Police reported. The couple were thrown from the bike and the motorcyclist died at the scene. Garcia-Cruz died at Interfaith Medical Center, in Brooklyn, a short time later.

The driver of the Mack truck was not charged.

While there is sometimes a social perception that motorcyclists tend to be negligent in riding and most often caused their own accidents, the reality is that two thirds of motorcycle and other vehicle crashes are the result of the vehicle driver violating the motorcycle operator’s right of way.

  • Common causes of motorcycle crashes include:
  • Failure of the vehicle driver to see the motorcycle, especially when the car is making a left turn
  • Dangerous road conditions (e.g. potholes, icy roads, etc.)
  • Adverse weather conditions
  • Motorcycle manufacturer defects

However, it is very important to take care of basic Motorcycle laws and precautions especially pertaining to Helmets, which are mandatory in New York State. . According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, head injury is the leading cause of death and serious injury in motorcycle collisions, which is why it’s vital to protect yourself when you ride a motorcycle. The right type of motorcycle helmet is 29% effective against an otherwise fatal head injury and 67% effective in preventing serious brain injury.

New York City, with its dense traffic, is especially dangerous for motorcyclists. New York City has almost double the death rate for motorcyclists, compared to the rest of New York State. 

Under New York State law, all motorcyclists and their passengers are required to wear helmets regardless of age or experience level. The laws also mandate that helmets meet the standards outlined in section 571.218 of federal motor vehicle safety rules.

Another tragedy occurred in the Bronx this summer, when a Mercedes-Benz driver struck and killed a bicyclist near the Bronx River Parkway then abandoned the luxury car and ran off, police said. On June 19, 2021, the motorist and cyclist were traveling east on Southern Blvd. near the Bronx River Parkway underpass around 11:30 p.m. Friday when the Mercedes struck the bike’s rear tire, authorities said. The victim, described as a man in his 30s, was thrown from his bike and into the Mercedes’ windshield, cops said.

The motorist stopped the car and ran off as his victim rolled off the hood and onto the ground. The bicyclist, who was not wearing a helmet, died at the scene. He had no identification on him, police said.New York law allows the family of motorcyclist or bicyclist who was killed because of the negligence of a car or truck driver to sue, for the financial loss to the person's family, as well as for compensation for the person's pre-death pain and suffering. If your loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident because of a careless driver, you may be entitled to a substantial award of damages. 

If you were injured because a driver or another party was negligent, we can help you hold the people that caused your accident responsible. Motorcyclists and bicyclists,  are entitled to the same protections under New York's Vehicle and Traffic as automobiles, which means that if a motorcyclist or bicyclist is going straight in their lane of travel, they have the right of way and other vehicles have to yield to them. Likewise, if a motorcyclist is already in an intersection and is turning, a vehicle about to enter an intersection has to yield to the motorcycle. If you were injured or a family member was killed, while on a motorcycle, because the othere vehicle did not yield the right of way, then you have a case and can sue for injuries or for the death, as the case may be. 

Unfortunately, some insurance companies and defense firms will argue that motorcycle operators are generally more careless than other vehicle operators. Some jurors are guilty of the same prejudice. For this reason, injured motorcyclists should seek representation from an experienced New York City motorcycle accident attorney. 

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The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC, has been helping injured victims recover compensation for their injuries for over a decade. Our attorneys are members of several prestigious organizations, including: 

  • New York State Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • New York County Bar Association
  • Westchester County Bar Association

To request your free initial consultation with our team, call our New York City office at (212) 858-0503 or our White Plains office at (914) 574-8330. You can also request a case review online.

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