Distracted Drivers Will be the Death of Motorcyclists
The 1981 Hurt Report and 2009 MAIDS, large-scale studies into motorcycle safety, independently conclude that a majority of motorcycle accidents:
- Have a passenger car as an accident partner
- Occur at intersections in urban areas during the day
- Passenger car drivers fail to see the motorcycle
While these findings don’t necessarily point the finger at the passenger car driver as at fault, it is a fact that more than 18% of fatal or injury motorcycle-passenger car collisions occurred every year because the passenger car driver was distracted. It is estimated that 69% of drivers in the US have admitted to using their mobile phone to text or call while driving, which is known to be risk-taking behavior because attention is drawn away from the road. Since motorcycle accidents occur most frequently because the other driver failed to observe the motorcycle even without being distracted, distracted driving can significantly increase the risks.
There has been a vigorous campaign against texting while driving, almost as intense as that mounted against intoxicated driving, but neither initiative have done much to improve the situation. In Iowa, like in all states in the US, driving while intoxicated is a crime even if no one gets hurt. On the other hand, texting or otherwise using a handheld device while driving is a traffic violation, and generally only becomes a crime when someone gets hurt. According to the website of the Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®, this is small consolation considering how much pain and trouble a victim of distracted driving will be put through.
In Iowa, the ban on texting while driving has also failed, and statistics show a steady increase in phone-related distracted driving crashes. Citing an offender is a secondary offense in Iowa, meaning that a law enforcer can only cite a driver for using a handheld device while driving if they had been pulled over for another violation i.e. speeding.
You may have an actionable case if you have been seriously injured while on a motorcycle in Iowa because the passenger car driver was distracted. Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in Iowa who knows exactly what you are going through, and can assess your case to determine how much compensation you should get.