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Why left-hand turns are the most dangerous for motorcyclists

On Behalf of | May 19, 2022 | Motorcycle Accidents |

If you spend some time looking into recent motorcycle accidents, you’ll quickly find a trend. Many of these accidents happen when someone turns left in front of the motorcycle.

This can happen at intersections, when one driver is waiting for traffic to clear before turning left through a green light. It can also happen anywhere on a two-lane road, if that driver is turning left to enter a parking lot or turning onto a side street. There have also been cases where drivers will try to make illegal U-turns, which essentially leads to the same issue, as they turn the car in front of oncoming traffic.

Why is it so dangerous?

This type of accident is obviously dangerous because it causes a collision between a vehicle and a motorcycle, but a lot of the danger stems from the fact that it just happens so quickly. A motorcyclist may see the car waiting to turn, but they’re generally going to assume that the driver will wait until they pass. That’s what should happen. When the driver instead turns ahead of them at the last second, they may only have a heartbeat before the collision, and there’s no way they can avoid the crash. Even being a defensive driver may not help.

Why does it happen?

Many of these accidents happen simply because people don’t see motorcycles. The reasons they give for not seeing the bikes are different. Some don’t look for them at all. Others miss them because of their small size. Still others don’t see bikes because they are distracted. But the general rule is that the driver who is turning left tends to have no idea that the motorcycle is there until the moment of the crash, so they also don’t do anything to avoid that collision.

What can you do?

If you get involved in an accident like this, even if you’re wearing all of your safety gear and have the best helmet on the market, you could suffer severe injuries. Motorcycle accidents are more likely to be fatal than any other type of car accident, and even accidents that aren’t fatal can lead to spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and other serious events.

In such accidents, it is often easy to prove that the left-turning drive was at fault. If you are involved in an accident with such a driver, it is likely that you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries and other impacts on your quality of life. It’s worthwhile to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about your case before signing any agreement with an insurance company.