Differences Between Bike and Motorcycle Accidents in Aurora

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There are many differences between bike and motorcycle accidents in Aurora. First off, motorcycles are seen more as motor vehicles than bicycles are. A cyclist is not analogous to a pedestrian, but much more so than a motor vehicle.

Motorcycle drivers and bicyclists are all under a duty to follow the traffic laws of the specific jurisdiction in which they are riding, but there are specific traffic laws that may pertain to only motorcyclists. To further understand the differences between motorcycle and bike accidents in Aurora, a person should be sure to consult with an experienced Aurora bike accident attorney immediately.

Most Notable Differences

In Aurora, bicycles and motorcycles differ in that a motorcycle requires a person to have a valid and specific license to operate. However, anyone, whether they are 6 or 60-years old, can ride a bicycle without a license. To operate a motorcycle requires specific training and being of legal driving age. There are no age requirements to ride a bicycle.

There are many specific equipment requirements that differ between motorcycles and bicycles in Aurora. For example, the driver and a passenger of a motorcycle have to wear eye protection. Bicycles have to be equipped with headlamps and reflective gear. Motorcycles must have headlights and taillights for nighttime driving. Bicycles cannot have any sirens or whistles. Motorcycles come equipped with horns. There are different noise limits that apply to motorcycles, while bicycles do not make noise.

Bicyclists must use hand signals, whereas people driving motorcycles have different lights and turn signals that show that they are turning or breaking. Both a bicyclist or a person driving a motorcycle can receive a DUI, but, if a person is on a bicycle and receives a DUI, the government cannot assess points against their driver’s license because they were not driving a motor vehicle. A motorcyclist, on the other hand, will have points assessed against their license.

There is no mandatory helmet law for a bicyclist. A motorcycle driver under 18 must wear an approved Department of Transportation helmet. After 18, the driver does not have to wear a helmet with motorcycles.

Attorney Treatment of Bicycle vs. Motorcycle Accidents

An attorney would likely analyze a bicycle accident more like a pedestrian accident case, whereas a motorcycle accident case is a very specific type of case. A motorcycle is obviously more similar to a motor vehicle than a pedestrian or bicycle, but they are their very own specific type of case. With motorcycle riders, there is definitely a lot of prejudice and bias from the public whereas a cyclist may seem a little more helpless or innocent in this situation. An attorney would set the case up to be seen by the public or the jury as more like a pedestrian case where a car hit a person who was just on the road like a pedestrian.

However, many attorneys are quick to dismiss bicycle accidents if the insurance company asserts comparative negligence or fault onto the cyclist. There are attorneys who put the case in a certain posture to show that the cyclist is not at fault. It is easy for a driver who is driving aggressively and not sharing the road to manipulate the situation and say that it was somehow the cyclist’s fault. At the very beginning, an attorney could try to frame it as more of a pedestrian accident. With a motorcycle that would not be possible.

As far as the defense goes, even if a pedestrian is viewed to be partially at fault for an accident, if a pedestrian is hit by a car while in a crosswalk or crossing the street against the signal, such cases are rarely denied or aggressively defended because of the potential harm from a car on a pedestrian. The same is true with bicycles.

Following Traffic Laws

With both a bicyclist and a person driving a motorcycle, they both have to follow traffic laws of the specific location, and must always yield to pedestrians. Both must obey traffic control devices (stop signs and stop lights) which can become a problem for bicyclists.

Bicyclists do not feel that they are required to stop at a stop sign if no one is at the stop light. However, both bicyclists and motorcyclists can be charged with reckless and careless driving. Of course, DUI laws apply to both as well.

Potential Consequences

As far as injuries go, bicycles are less likely to cause damage. If a bicyclist gets into an accident with a motor vehicle, the bicycle is not likely going to cause much damage whereas a motorcyclist may cause significant damage.

The injuries are greater for those who are riding a bicycle because they do not wear as much protective gear as someone who drives a motorcycle. If someone is hit on a bicycle, there can be more damage to the bike and more severe injuries. This is a major difference between bike and motorcycle accidents in Aurora.

The potential consequences are greater with motorcycles than they are with bicycles when it comes to liability. If someone is a person driving a motorcycle, they are more likely to be found at fault or contributing to the accident than someone on a bicycle. Bicyclists are seen as a little bit more helpless and more as pedestrians. This depends on the specific location as well. Again, with DUI, there is a greater potential consequence for a motorcyclist, because that can count as points on their actual driver’s license.