Left-Turn Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles can be fun to ride, but riders face many dangers. They have no protection and can face serious injuries from even a minor motorcycle crash. Believe it or not, one of the biggest dangers is left-hand turns by other vehicles.
While a simple turn should seem simple enough to navigate, many motorcyclists will tell you otherwise. In 2016, there were 2,625 fatal crashes between motorcycles and other vehicles. More than 40 percent of those accidents involved the other vehicles turning left, while the motorcycle was going straight. Left-hand turns are a serious issue. A left-hand turn results in nearly 10 times as many crashes as right-hand turns.
Why are left turns a problem? Because drivers rarely see the motorcycles. This may seem like a copout, but it’s true. It’s a depth perception issue. Motorists are trained to look for cars and trucks before turning. Motorcycles are much smaller, so their eyes aren’t trained the same way. Motorcycles tend to blend in and it’s harder to gauge their speed.
Distractions are another issue. Distracted drivers are everywhere, playing on their phones, reading, eating, changing the radio station and even applying makeup as they drive. When a crash occurs, and a motorcycle is involved, the motorcycle rider will always lose. Due to physics, the bigger vehicle will always win.
Sometimes accidents will occur while a vehicle is passing. The driver may be so focused on the vehicle they are trying to pass that they fail to see the motorcycle up ahead. This can result in a deadly head-on accident.
Liability in a Left-Turn Accident
Drivers have a duty to drive in a safe manner and follow traffic laws, which includes yielding the right of way. This means that, for the most part, the driver making the left turn will almost always be held liable for the crash. However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as the following:
- The motorcyclist is in the wrong lane.
- The motorcyclist runs a red light.
- The motorcyclist is speeding.
Avoiding Left-Turn Accidents
There are several ways in which motorcyclists can help prevent these types of crashes:
- Watch motorists. Look for cues that can tell you what the other motorist plans to do next.
- Anticipate a crash. Be aware that a crash can happen when you cross an intersection, so do so carefully and be ready to react.
- Slow down. By reducing your speed, you are better prepared to take action to avoid a crash.
- Be visible. Use your headlights and wear bright, reflective clothing so that others can easily see you.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Motorcycles are prone to accidents, especially when other vehicles are turning left. While it’s a good idea for motorcycle riders to be aware of this common danger, not all crashes can be prevented.
If you or a loved one was involved in a motorcycle crash, seek legal help from the Houston motorcycle accident lawyers at The West Law Office, PLLC. We will help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today. Fill out the online form or call 281-347-3247.