Motorcycles aren’t always seen by motorists on the road. They are a minority in terms of numbers and have a small and thin profile compared to other vehicles. These characteristics mean that people aren’t looking for them and they are difficult to see. An intersection heavy with traffic worsens the problem. However, this is no excuse because it is the motorist’s responsibility to avoid collisions with any vehicle or person regardless of their visibility.
One of the most common motorcycle accidents are collisions at intersections where a motorcycle is riding straight through while a car in the oncoming lane is making a left hand turn that crosses the motorcyclist’s path. The driver in the car either does not see, or tries to cut in front of the motorcyclist and collides with him.
This type of collision usually occurs because the driver of the car was either distracted, driving aggressively, or failed to see the motorcyclist. In these instances, the driver is at fault. However there are exceptions where the motorcyclist is found partially or completely at fault. If he is violating traffic laws such as speeding or improperly passing a car, he will share fault for the accident. If excessive speed on his part allows too little time for the car to respond, he may be found completely at fault.
Motorcycling Tips for Avoiding the Left Turn Collision
- Anticipate left turn collisions – The motorcyclist should expect this type of collision every time he rides through an intersection. This means glancing at the oncoming car to see if it is about to turn. Anticipating an event better prepares the motorcyclist to cope should it occur.
- Slow down at intersections – Intersections are dangerous places where the unpredictable often happens. A slower speed allows more time to react.
- Be visible – Wear bright colors and always ride with the headlights on.
- Pay attention to cues – One can often discern the motorist’s intention by looking for certain cues. The positioning of the car in its lane, the turn of the car’s wheels, and the movements of the motorist’s head all indicate his or her intention. Learn to read other motorists.
If you were in an accident and want the legal help of a motorcycle accidents attorney, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.