Do I Have a Responsibility to Make Myself Obvious as a Motorcyclist?

Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Motorcyclists have good reason to be paranoid while operating their vehicles on America’s roadways.  Motorcycle accidents — in Arizona and elsewhere — are often caused by car and truck drivers who fail to drive in a manner that accounts for the possibility of two-wheelers on the road, or who otherwise fail to “notice” the presence of a two-wheeler.  This can expose motorcyclists to an unreasonable risk of harm.

Given the risks, it’s not surprising that many motorcyclists wonder whether they have an affirmative responsibility or duty to make themselves more (in the visual and auditory sense) obvious to others.

Let’s explore some of the basics for a clearer understanding.

Motorcyclists Must Exercise Reasonable Care — There is No Special Responsibility to Make Oneself Obvious

Motorcyclists have no affirmative responsibility or duty to make themselves obvious.  In fact, it could be reasonably argued that attempts to make themselves more visible or otherwise obvious to other vehicles could expose the motorcyclist to additional risks of harm.  For example, many motorcyclists swerve within their lane to make themselves more visible to passing cars, but this activity can confuse other drivers — they may not be aware that you are intending to stay in your own lane.

As a motorcyclist, your mind should be focused on exercising reasonable care given the circumstances.  If the actions necessitated by the circumstances involve making yourself obvious, then that would justify you doing so.  Otherwise, it’s not required to take additional or special actions to make yourself obvious.

For example, suppose that a car is shifting into your lane.  The driver does not realize that they are about to collide with you.  Now, given the circumstances, you should attempt to move out of the way and honk your horn to alert the driver to your presence.  Though the driver is clearly negligent, the circumstances are such that you might be found contributorily negligent if you failed to take action to make your presence known by honking.

On the other hand, if you’re riding in your lane and there is no immediate scenario demanding that you make your presence “actively” known to another driver, you do not have to honk or swerve or do anything else out-of-the-ordinary.

Contact Our Team for Experienced Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Attorneys for a Free Consultation

Hirsch & Lyon is a Phoenix-based boutique litigation firm with a focus on motor vehicle accident claims, including those that involve motorcycle accidents.

Our attorneys have decades of experience representing the interests of injured plaintiffs.  We pride ourselves on our commitment to client-oriented service that is aggressive, relentless, and dedicated to securing substantial positive results.  Over the years, this commitment has paid off — since our founding, we have recovered over $100 million in favorable verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients.

Interested in learning more about how we can help you obtain compensation for your motorcycle-related injuries?  Call 602-535-1900 or submit a case evaluation form through our website to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our experienced Phoenix motorcycle accident attorneys.  We will evaluate your case and work with you to develop a strategic plan moving forward.

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