A sport utility driver turned left across a motorcyclist's lane of travel causing him to crash last Friday afternoon. Joseph Cross, 32, of Brunswick County died at the scene following the collision. The North Carolina Highway Patrol concluded that the SUV broadsided Cross as he was traveling along Kirby Road.
The State Highway Patrol charged driver of the SUV, Dorothy Hewitt, 51, with failing to yield the right of way. At the time of the crash, Hewitt was attempting to turn left into her driveway. She stated that she did not see any oncoming traffic until the motorcycle collided with her vehicle. Unfortunately, this scenario happens all too often.
The most common type of motorcycle accident involves another vehicle causing the collision by violating the right of way of the motorcycle at an interesection, usually by turning left in front of the oncoming motorcycle because the car driver did not see the motorcycle.
From ahead or behind, a motorcycle's outline is much smaller than a car's, and if a car driver is not paying attention, the car driver can miss seeing a motorcycle. Most often, car driver's are not looking for motorcycles, and even if a car driver does see a motorcycle, the driver often perceives the motorcycle to be further away, or traveling slower, than it actually is. Fortunately, there are many things the motorcyclist can do to increase his/her visibility.