Motorcycle drivers and passengers are some of the most vulnerable travelers on the road. Aside from being directly exposed to the elements, they’re at greater risk of injury in the event of a collision with another vehicle. Although responsible motorcycle riders take precautions to protect themselves, they can’t control the actions of other motorists.

A motorcycle rider from Pennsylvania was seriously injured earlier this week in a collision with two vehicles. But the chain-reaction crash, which involved a total of four vehicles, is being blamed on the actions of just one driver, a 63-year-old man accused of driving drunk.

New Jersey State Police said the motorcyclist was hit by a car that crossed the double yellow line on the road. A third vehicle then hit the motorcycle, according to police. The car that initially hit the motorcycle continued on and crashed into a fourth vehicle before coming to a stop at an embankment.

The motorcyclist was taken to a hospital with back and pelvic injuries. The driver who originally crashed into him failed field sobriety tests and was taken to the state police barracks. He was charged with assault by auto, drunken driving, failure to keep right and reckless driving. In addition to those criminal charges, the motorcyclist, who could have been hurt even more severely considering he was hit by two vehicles, could decide to file a civil lawsuit to cover his medical expenses.

Motorcyclists may be more vulnerable to injury from crashes, but they have just as much right as other drivers to safely get from one location to the next. If another motorist recklessly endangers a motorcycle driver or passenger, he or she should expect to bear the consequences through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Source: LehighValleyLive.com, “Sussex County man was allegedly drunk when he collided with motorcycle on Route 517 in Allamuchy Township,” Sarah M. Wojcik, Jan. 16, 2012