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This traffic maneuver is especially dangerous on a motorcycle

On Behalf of | May 15, 2024 | Motorcycle accidents |

Small choices that people make in traffic can increase or reduce their likelihood of a crash. The speed at which people travel, how consistently they use their turn signals and even the routes they follow can contribute to their overall safety or chances of a crash. The impact of small decisions can be particularly profound for motorcycle riders.

Motorcyclists are often one small mistake away from a collision. They need to maintain not just expert control of their vehicles but also constant awareness of the conduct of others in traffic. Behaviors that others can engage in with only moderate risk, including speeding, can be incredibly dangerous for those on motorcycles. Even seemingly basic traffic choices can put someone on a motorcycle at elevated risk of a collision. For example, for someone on a motorcycle, one standard traffic maneuver could directly lead to a wreck.

Left turns are particularly dangerous

Traffic in the United States flows on the right side of the road. Therefore, right-hand turns are relatively fast and efficient, while left-hand turns are slow and involve a lot of vehicle exposure to oncoming traffic. When looking at crashes that occur at intersections in particular, left-hand turns stand out as a risky choice in traffic. According to an analysis of collisions, almost two-thirds of crashes at intersections involve left turns. Other drivers fail to yield to those turning left, resulting in serious collisions.

Motorcycle riders are at particularly high risk of left-hand turn collisions, as many of those crashes involve a driver failing to monitor their surroundings. Motorists are more likely to overlook motorcycles than they are to fail to notice larger vehicles. Unlike those in bigger vehicles, motorcycle riders cannot count on their vehicles to protect them from the force of the collision. Even if a crash occurs at relatively low speeds at an intersection, a motorcycle rider may require emergency care in the hospital and weeks away from work.

Many injured motorcyclists realize early in their claims that insurance may not adequately cover their costs and that a lawsuit might be necessary to recoup their expenses after a car-motorcycle collision. Reducing how many left turns a rider must complete could reduce their chance of a serious motorcycle crash.

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