Pickup Truck Driver Charged in Fatal Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycle accident

2/26/2020 Motorcycle Accidents John Whitfield

A Nashville man has been charged with a traffic misdemeanor after being involved in a fatal accident that killed a motorcyclist. A Nissan pickup truck failed to yield to a motorcyclist at the intersection of Buchanan and 16TH Avenue. The rider was traveling east on Buchanan Street when the truck driver pulled out of a parking lot and struck him. The fatal accident shut down Buchanan Street while crews investigated. Although the biker was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for treatment, he, unfortunately, succumbed to his injuries.

While the accident resulted in the loss of life for the motorcyclist, the driver was only slightly reprimanded with a traffic misdemeanor: failure to yield to the right of way resulting in death, which carries a $500 fine in Tennessee.

The rise of pedestrian and cyclist deaths in Nashville highlights that more may need to be done not only to protect the lives of pedestrians and motorcyclists but also to enforce punishment commensurate with the magnitude of a fatal roadway accident.

Failure to Yield

Failure to yield occurs when a driver does not give the right-of-way to another motor vehicle driver, motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian. The right-of-way is a legal right that has been established by usages to pass along a specific route. For example, if a car is exiting a parking lot, it must yield to drivers or pedestrians following the predetermined usage route of the road that the driver is attempting to either exit onto or across. Because the driver waiting to exit is “protected” in the parking lot – meaning they are not actively on the road – they must yield to those already traveling along the route.

If a driver arrives at an intersection not metered by lights, the driver(s) who arrived before them has the right of way. If a driver arrives at the same time as another driver, then the driver must yield to the driver at their right-hand side; lastly, a driver who arrives at an intersection and is turning left must yield to drivers continuing straight or making a right-hand turn. Failure to yield and failure to yield to the right-of-way consistently account for major accidents and deaths every year. In 2017 alone, the Insurance Information Institute reported that failing to yield caused 3,711 deaths or 7% of all fatal roadway accidents. Currently, failure to yield is also a leading cause of deaths among pedestrians and cyclists.

The leading causes of fatalities for motorcyclists and pedestrians include:

  • Failure to yield
  • Passenger vehicle head-on collisions
  • Passenger vehicles making left-hand turns
  • Speeding
  • Road hazards, such as debris and potholes

Motorcyclists and pedestrians have every right to the same safe travel passenger vehicle drivers and their passengers do. Because cyclists and pedestrians are without the physical barrier passenger vehicles have, they are the most vulnerable on the road. Passenger vehicle drivers should be cognizant of the power their vehicle has to become a deadly weapon against motorcycle riders, pedestrians, and cyclists.

Nashville Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Motorcyclists and pedestrians should not have to fear for their safety every time they share the road with larger passenger vehicles. Drivers should always be aware of their surroundings and follow traffic laws to prevent senseless accidents, injuries, and deaths. The attorneys at Whitfield Bryson LLP know how challenging a motorcycle accident can be. To find out more about how we can help you recover, call us today for a free consultation.