Our motorcycle accident lawyers often observe that a number of devastating accidents involving motorcycles have to do with right of way violations. A majority of these accidents typically occur at street intersections for reasons ranging from dangerous roadways to driver inattention and reckless driving. In such cases, it is important that a thorough and complete accident investigation is conducted. These types of accidents often result in catastrophic or fatal injuries for the motorcyclist. Even at slow speeds, a motorcyclist could become seriously injured.


The first fact to establish when we’re talking about motorcycles and right of way is that motorcyclists have same rights and responsibilities as drivers of other vehicles do. While motorcyclists have a responsibility to yield the right of way to pedestrians and other vehicles, other drivers also have the same responsibility toward motorcyclists. Often times, we see that drivers of larger vehicles simply fail to remember that they share the roadway with motorcyclists and end up making poor decisions that result in a right of way violations and devastating motorcycle crashes.

Here are some of the right of way laws in Pennsylvania that apply to motorcyclists:

  • A vehicle that is making a left turn or a U-turn must yield the right of way to oncoming vehicles or vehicles that are going straight. These account for a majority of motorcycle accidents.
  • If you happen to enter a roadway at the same time another vehicle, and you are on the left, you must yield the right of way to vehicles that are approaching from the right.
  • If you are entering a traffic circle, the law required you to yield to any vehicles that are already in the circle.
  • If you are entering a main road from a private alley, driveway or road, you are required to the yield the right of way to vehicles that are on the main road.


Here are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents that result from right of way violations:

  • Distracted driving: When drivers are looking at a cell phone or are distracted by some other activity while driving such as talking to a passenger, they may fail to yield the right of way. Inattention could also cause these accidents. You’ll often hear a driver say they “never saw the motorcycle.” That type of comment may be a sign of distracted driving or inattention.
  • Disobeying the rules of the road: Drivers may violate the rules of the road when it comes to right of way issues because of reckless or careless driving. It could also happen when they are driving at an excessive rate of speed.
  • Impaired driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs could result in a right of way violation because these motorists often have impaired judgment and abilities.
  • Dangerous roadways: When roadways are poorly designed or have inadequate lighting, there is a greater likelihood of street intersection accidents involving smaller vehicles such as motorcycles.


If you or a loved one has been injured in a Pennsylvania motorcycle accident caused by right of way violations, you may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault motorist for the injuries, damages, and losses you have sustained. Ted Kaplun and Jonathan Marx can help you file a personal injury claim and obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve.