Motorcycle Accidents: Left Turn Collisions

A potential left hand collision is something that motorcycle riders are always aware and vigilant about. It happens all of the time, a driver pulls out right in the path of another car or motorcycle and that person has to maneuver or slam on the breaks to avoid a crash. Unfortunately for motorcyclists, it’s not as simple as just slamming on the breaks or going around the offending car. Motorcycles need additional time and distance to safely maneuver around a dangerous driver. In many cases, we hear about drivers reportedly not even having seen a motorcycle before pulling out in front of it. Since these cases can often leave motorcycle riders in the hospital and out of work, it’s essential to speak with a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident.

Driver Inattention and Misjudgment in Left Turn Collisions

Driver inattention and misjudgment are two main causes of left turn collisions. If driver’s aren’t paying attention, they’re not looking out for motorcycles or other roadway users. Motorcycles are smaller than other passenger occupant vehicles, so drivers need to be paying attention to all roadway users, no matter how big or small their vehicles are. It’s also common to see drivers misjudge the distance between other vehicles and themselves. This is when drivers do see that a motorcycle or other car is coming, but misjudge how far it is or how fast it is coming. When in doubt, drivers need to wait until they are certain a turn is safe to make. Listed below are a few more common causes of left turn collisions.

Common Causes of Left Turn Collisions
  • Speeding
  • Driving straight into an intersection when you shouldn’t
  • Distracted driving
  • Passing a vehicle who is waiting for oncoming traffic
  • Rushing a turn signal that is changing color
  • Driver inattention
  • Making a turn when it’s not safe to do so
  • Opposing car entering intersection against a red light
  • Driver misjudgment
  • Reduced visibility due to poor intersection planning or weather conditions
Disregarding Other Roadway Users

Unfortunately, a huge problem associated with left turn collisions is a complete disregard of the rights and privileges of other roadway users. Drivers need to understand that motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians all have a right to use the roadways. You can’t just disregard the rights and safety of other roadway users simply because they’re not in large passenger occupant vehicles like you. Sharing the road means sharing it safely and lawfully with everybody, no matter if they walk, ride, pedal or drive.

Driver “Didn’t See” Motorcycle

“I didn’t even see the motorcycle rider.” Sadly, we hear this narrative all of the time. This goes back to driver inattention and a disregard for the safety of other roadway users. Drivers need to put down the cell phones, check their blind spots and always make sure they’re turns are safe before pulling into traffic. Sharing the road means drivers need to lookout for roadway users of all shapes and sizes. Yes, motorcycles are smaller than traditional cars and light trucks, but that’s no excuse to completely not see one. Don’t make left (or right) turn decisions without being sure you’re not creating a dangerous situation for somebody. Being late is way better than sending somebody to the hospital, or worse.

Motorcyclists Need More Room to Maneuver

Ultimately, it comes down to motorcyclists needing more room to stop and maneuver in the event of a roadway emergency. Motorcycles can’t stop on a dime safely. The riders need plenty of room to stop safely or maneuver around hazards or other drivers in the roadway. Always make sure you give a motorcycle plenty of room, especially prior to a turn or a lane change. It could save somebody’s life. When in doubt, wait for a clear and safe opening to make a turn. Refrain from speeding or making split second decisions. It’s always a safe decision to wait for a good opportunity to make a turn.

When to Call A Motorcycle Accident Attorney

After a motorcycle accident, it’s essential to speak with a lawyer about your case, even if it seems cut and dry and your insurance company is seemingly cooperative. It never hurts to have a professional ensure you’re being treated fairly. After all, you could be out of work and in the hospital for an extended period of time. If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a left turn collision motorcycle accident, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a free case consultation today.

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