Motorcycle Merger Accident in Chesapeake Leaves Rider Dead
Interstate ramps are the scenes of many serious accidents. We were saddened to read about how a motorcycle merger accident in Chesapeake left a rider dead over the weekend.
Motorcyclists are the most vulnerable of road users. Basic maneuvers such as sideswipe accidents during mergers that might be fender benders when two cars collide can prove fatal for riders.
Virginia State Police was called to a two-vehicle accident on Interstate 664, southbound, at the Military Highway exit in Chesapeake.
Officers said a 2019 Harley Davidson Tri-glide was attempting to merge onto the interstate from an exit ramp when it collided with a 2017 Volkswagen CC. The car driver was merging onto the exit ramp from I-664. Both vehicles crashed into each other in the gore area of the exit ramp.
Virginia State Police said the motorcycle rider, 66-year-old Wayne R. Lohnes, and his passenger were ejected in the accident. Both of them sustained serious injuries. They were taken to Norfolk General Hospital where Lohnes later died as a result of his injuries.
Police released no further details of the cause of this accident. Our thoughts are with the family of Mr. Lohnes and the passenger.
Merger accidents occur frequently on the highways of Virginia but they vary in seriousness.
What Are Merger or Lane Changing Motorcycle Accidents?
Merger or lane changing accidents occur when one or more vehicles are crossing lanes and hit each other. These accidents are usually sideswipe crashes. They are typically caused by a lapse in attention or the failure of a driver to check his or her blind spot.
There are many types of merger accidents. They include:
- Making a lane change without signaling;
- Failing to yield on an Interstate ramp;
- Crossing multiple lanes at once;
- Moving suddenly and unexpectedly from a parked position into traffic;
- Entering a roadway from a private drive;
- Cutting off another driver;
- Making an illegal turn;
- Pulling into a roadway from a shoulder area.
Who is at Fault for These Accidents?
Assigning fault can be difficult in merger crashes. If two vehicles move toward each other both drivers can be to blame. In Virginia, being just 1 percent to blame can bar you from making a personal injury claim under the doctrine of contributory negligence.
Motorcycle Merger Accidents Are Often Serious
Motorcycle merger, sideswipe or lane change accidents may be very hazardous for a rider. Motorcycles are less stable than cars. Even a glancing blow from another vehicle can send a bike flying off the road or cause a rider to be thrown off his or her motorcycle.
Car and truck drivers often fail to see motorcyclists because they are smaller than other vehicles. This means they turn into their path or knock them off their machines.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 100,000 motorcycle accidents occur every year in the United States. The death rate in motorcycle accidents is about six times that of drivers and passengers in automobiles, states NHTSA. Motorcycles have no protective metal frame. Riders are more likely to be thrown across the road. They also stand a significantly higher chance of sustaining serious injuries like brain injuries and amputations.
In 2018, Virginia recorded 1,792 motorcycle crashes, a 15.4 percent fall on 2017. Virginia recorded 87 fatal motorcycle crashes in 2018. This was a decrease compared to 2017 when 107 riders lost their lives. Newport News and Virginia Beach both reported six rider deaths that year – the highest in the state.
A Chesapeake Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you were hurt in a motorcycle merger accident or lost a loved one, please contact our experienced motorcycle accident team. At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, we fight for the rights of riders and their families. Call us today.