It is both common knowledge and common sense that riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than driving a car. The vehicles are smaller and lighter than cars and trucks, and they offer no external protection in a crash. Motorcyclists accept these risks for the unique experience that riding offers, and most bikers take great care to protect themselves and prevent crashes.
Unfortunately, the majority of motorcycle accidents involving more than one vehicle are caused by drivers of that other vehicle. One type of crash scenario is especially deadly and especially common: The left-turn accident.
What are left-turn crashes?
At many intersections and on undivided highways, drivers who need to turn left must wait for opposing traffic to clear. A left-turn crash occurs when a vehicle turns left directly into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist, leaving the biker with no time to slow down or steer out of the way. The result is a forced T-bone crash that is often fatal or highly injurious to the rider.
Drivers are supposed to use their best judgment about when it is safe to turn. Unfortunately, when motorcyclists are the oncoming traffic, many drivers exercise poor judgment or fail to notice riders altogether. When drivers do see motorcyclists coming, they are likely to misjudge the rider’s speed and proximity.
Accident statistics are sobering
Left-turn accidents are among the most common and consequential motorcycle crash scenarios. Recent accident data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is illustrative of the problem. According to the data, there were 2,741 fatal crashes in 2020 involving a motorcyclist and the driver of a larger vehicle. Of these, 42 percent were left-turn accidents in which the other drivers were turning left.
As a more general matter, motorcyclist injuries and deaths are disproportionately high compared to the percentage of riders on the road (only 3 percent of registered vehicles are motorcycles). Additional data cited by the CDC reveals that more than 5,500 riders were killed in 2020, and another 180,000 were injured severely enough to require emergency room care.
You have a legal advocate after a motorcycle accident
If you’ve been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver, it is important to understand and exercise your legal options. Working with an experienced attorney like those at (NAP Name) can help you claim the compensation you need and deserve.
You can take advantage of a free initial consultation by contacting our office today.