Motorcyclists are entitled to the same rights as other motorists when traveling the roadways, however, not all drivers always observe the rules of the road. If the driver of a car, truck or other passenger vehicle fails to properly yield the right of way to motorcyclists, it can potentially result in a serious motorcycle accident.
California Right of Way Rules
The California Vehicle Code outlines the rules governing who has the right of way at intersections. Drivers and motorcyclists are required to adhere to the following guidelines when approaching intersections:
- The driver who is approaching the intersection must yield the right of way to any vehicle that has entered the intersection from a different highway
- When two vehicles enter an intersection from different highways at the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left must yield to the driver to his or her immediate right
In many cases, the driver responsible for causing the accident may claim that they didn't see the motorcyclist in time to avoid a collision. While this may sometimes be the case, oftentimes, failure-to-yield motorcycle accidents occur because:
- The driver fails to check their blind spot
- The driver executes a turn in front of a motorcyclist without using proper turn signals
- The driver does not allow the motorcyclist a safe traveling distance.
Driving Safety Tips: Yielding the Right of Way
The California Department of Motor Vehicles offers a number of safety tips which are designed to help prevent failure-to-yield accidents.
- Slow down and be ready to stop at intersections without "STOP" or "YIELD" signs. Yield to motorcyclists or other vehicles already in the intersection or just entering the intersection. Yield to the motorcyclist that arrives first or the motorcyclist on your right if they reach the intersection at the same time as you do.
- At intersections without "STOP" or "YIELD" signs, yield to motorcyclists approaching on the through road.
- When turning left, yield the right of way to motorcycles or other vehicles that are approaching.
- When turning right, be sure to check for motorcyclists coming up behind you.
- Watch for motorcyclists when attempting to turn left or right on divided highways or highways with several lanes.
- If parked on a roadway, look for oncoming motorcyclists before pulling out into traffic.
If You're Injured in a Failure-to-Yield Motorcycle Accident
If you're hurt in a motorcycle accident as a result of another driver's failure to yield, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries. If the other driver acted negligently in causing the accident, you may be eligible to receive damages for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Your first priority should be to contact an experienced Sacramento motorcycle accident attorney to discuss your rights.
Nadrich & Cohen, LLP specializes in representing Sacramento motorcycle accident victims and their families. For more information on filing a motorcycle accident claim, call 1-800-718-4658 to begin your free initial case evaluation. There is never a fee unless a judgment is recovered on your behalf.
The Nadrich & Cohen personal injury blogs are sponsored by Nadrich & Cohen, LLC. This blog features news stories, personal cases and analysis of current events, all of which are intended for illustrative purposes only. Each case is different, and legal authority is constantly changing and evolving. Therefore, nothing on this site should be viewed as a guarantee or prediction of a similar future outcome. The information on this site should not be treated as authoritative, and readers should always consult with legal counsel before making any important legal decisions. Lastly, Nadrich & Cohen, LLC is not responsible for any comments contributed by visitors to this website.