Cars turning left at intersections are one of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes. In 2020, 42% of two-vehicle crashes involving a car and motorcycle were due to the car making a left turn unsafely.
The small size of motorcycles makes them more challenging to see than larger vehicles, and drivers often underestimate an approaching motorcycle’s speed and how quickly it will reach an intersection. Motorcyclists must be aware of this risk and take necessary precautions to avoid injury.
If you were injured due to a car turning left and hitting your motorcycle, you might be entitled to compensation. The Michigan motorcycle accident lawyers at Fieger Law can help you navigate the legal process and get the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Left-Turn Crashes
Left turns can be particularly risky for motorcyclists, who drivers often overlook due to their smaller size and reduced visibility.
The most common reasons for left-turn crashes include:
- Left Turns Tend to Be into Blind Spots: When turning left, a driver’s view may be obstructed by oncoming traffic, parked vehicles, or other obstacles. This can make it difficult for the driver to see an approaching motorcycle, which is often smaller and less visible than another car.
- Many Drivers Don’t Yield the Right of Way: Motorists making left turns are required to yield to oncoming traffic, including motorcycles. However, many drivers fail to yield the right of way, resulting in collisions. This can occur due to distraction, impatience, or a failure to check for oncoming traffic before making the turn.
- The Motorcycle Rider is Less Visible to Oncoming Traffic: Motorcycles are less visible to oncoming traffic than cars. In some cases, drivers simply fail to look for motorcyclists when preparing to turn left, leading to severe injuries for the motorcycle rider.
- Motorists Misjudge the Speed of Approaching Motorcycles: Drivers may misjudge the speed of an approaching motorcycle and how long it will take the motorcyclist to reach the intersection. This can cause the driver to incorrectly assume there is a safe gap in traffic to turn left in front of the motorcycle, resulting in a collision.
Tips for Riders Avoiding Left-Turn Accidents
As a motorcyclist, you can take several precautions to protect yourself from a left-turn accident with another vehicle. When you head out on the open road, practice the following:
- Anticipate the movements of other drivers, especially when approaching intersections.
- Reduce speed when approaching intersections and be prepared to stop suddenly.
- Stay visible by wearing high-visibility gear and keeping your headlight on even in daylight.
- Avoid riding in a driver’s blind spot, especially when approaching intersections.
- Be aware of turn signals on other vehicles, and always assume the other drivers do not see you.
- Use defensive driving techniques such as maintaining a safe distance and avoiding sudden movements.
- Stay alert and avoid distractions such as using your phone or listening to music.
- Take a motorcycle safety course to improve your skills and learn how to anticipate and avoid hazards on the road.
Tips for Motorists Avoiding Left-Turn Accidents
Left-turn accidents involving motorcycles can have serious consequences for both riders and motorists. To help prevent these types of accidents, motorists can take the following steps:
- Always look both ways before turning left, even if you have a green light.
- Keep an eye out for motorcycles, which can be more difficult to see than other vehicles.
- Avoid distractions such as texting, eating, or applying makeup while driving.
- Follow traffic laws and yield the right of way to oncoming traffic, including motorcycles.
- Be patient and wait for a clear opening to make your turn rather than trying to squeeze through a small gap.
- Use turn signals to indicate your intentions and help motorcyclists anticipate your movements.
- Don’t assume that other road users know you are there or what you are about to do, and always double-check before making a left turn.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Fieger Law
If you are a motorcycle rider who has been injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, you deserve justice and fair compensation for your injuries. Fieger Law has a team of experienced attorneys who can help you prove negligence and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Our team can investigate the circumstances of your accident, gather evidence, and build a strong case to prove the other party’s negligence. We can also negotiate with insurance companies and fight for your rights in court to help you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Contact our legal team today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you get a fair settlement to pay for your damages from a left-turn motorcycle crash.