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Rider dies after Texas teen pulls out in front of motorcycle

Motorcycles make up just a small segment of the vehicles on Dallas roads, but a disproportionate number of motorcyclists are injured or killed while riding. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported motorcyclists were three times more likely than other motorists to be injured in a crash and 18 times more likely to die.

Motorcyclists choose two-wheel transportation for practical reasons. Vehicle cost, maintenance and fuel consumption are low compared to cars and trucks. Motorcycles also provide an open-air traveling experience. The freedom of riding exposed to the wind and sky without a hindered view is a thrill and a danger. The lack of protection makes motorcyclists vulnerable.

Motorcyclists encounter obstacles that drivers of multi-wheeled vehicles don’t give much thought. An oil or gravel patch probably won’t cause a car accident but can be enough to destabilize a two-wheeled vehicle. Riders’ inexperience or lack of skill also contribute to crashes.

Driver negligence is often the reason for car accidents involving motorcycles. A car driver doesn’t notice the less visible vehicle in a passing lane or at an intersection. A motorcycle’s speed and distance also may be difficult for other motorists to calculate. None of these reasons are excuses for driver carelessness.

A Texas A&M cadet on his way to complete a College Station public service project was severely injured while riding a motorcycle. The motorcyclist died three days after his Victory motorcycle slammed into a car that pulled out in front of him. Police said the 20-year-old bike operator wasn’t wearing a helmet, which is required by state law for motorcyclists under 21.

The 18-year-old car driver was issued a traffic citation for failure to yield.

Damage awards in wrongful death lawsuits are dependent upon evidence of defendant negligence. A driver’s disregard of another vehicle operator’s safety can convince a jury that compensation is justified for an injured victim or surviving family member.

Source: theeagle.com, "Texas A&M cadet killed in crash remembered as ‘sociable, confident young man’" Andrea Salazar, Oct. 17, 2013

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