On November 10, 2012, a drywall contractor hopped onto his motorcycle to go make a bid for a job. His girlfriend decided to join him, and they rode off and onto Ga. 198. Along the way, the couple got stuck behind a mail truck that was out and about on its rounds. When the truck pulled to the right, the contractor pulled past—thinking that the postal truck was pulling over to deliver mail—but the postal service driver was actually preparing for a left-hand turn.
Is The Postal Service A Danger To Motorcyclists?
Without noticing the motorcyclists, the mail truck ran into their Harley. Acting fast, the contractor pushed off of the mail truck with his right leg, and managed to throw his girlfriend free of the wreck, but the selfless act was costly. The contractor’s foot got caught on the mail truck’s bumper, and he was dragged further into the crash.
The 44-year-old contractor spent 13 days in a coma, and almost a month later his right leg was amputated below the knee. His hospital bill added up to over $1.1 million, but he was not daunted. The man filed a lawsuit against the United States Postal Service for causing the loss of his leg. The postal worker had failed to signal her turn on that fateful fall day, and after reviewing the case before a US District Judge, the man from Cumming was awarded $5.7 million.
During the trial, it was revealed that this type of crash is actually very common for postal workers. A combination of being slower than the normal flow of traffic, the driver being positioned on the far side of the mail truck, and the sometimes erratic turns a mail-carrier must make can often make driving or riding around these vehicles dangerous. Add in the fact that vehicles making left-hand turns are also one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents, and it becomes apparent that the postal service needs to take extra care when motorcyclists are nearby.
Do you think there are any measures the postal service can take to reduce the number of crashes postal vehicles have with motorcycles? When you ride, are you extra cautious around postal vehicles? Come and share your tips with us on Twitter or Facebook, and don’t forget to keep following our blog for more helpful information about your legal rights here in Georgia.