I have been involved in depositions on several of my motorcycle cases and, in each case, the other driver was making a left turn directly in front of my client’s motorcycle and resulting in very serious injuries. There is not much a motorcyclist can do to avoid this type of collision when the reckless driver simply does not see or bother to pay attention to the oncoming motorcycle. Crash statistics show that almost 40% of motorcycle crashes involve the other driver making a left hand turn.
Some companies have taken motorcycle safety into their own hands by banning drivers from making left-hand turns altogether. For example, circa 2004, UPS announced a no left-hand turn policy for all of their drivers. Although factors such as shorter times spent waiting for traffic to clear and a decreased amount of overall accidents also played a part in this decision, UPS made the roads that much safer for motorcyclists with one simple policy change.
Studies have shown that there are 10 times as many accidents from making left hand turns as compared to right hand turns.
In my recent cases, one collision occurred at night and the other during the day. Despite the difference in time of day, the reckless driver simply failed to observe the motorcycle in both cases. Perhaps drivers are only looking for the absence of cars and not the presence of motorcycles coming their way, as his situation happens all too often. Because of the risks involved, we recommend that all motorcyclists wear protective clothing and an approved helmet. Many motorcyclists are now wearing very bright and light reflecting clothing in order to increase their visibility when on the road.
Experienced motorcyclists understand and appreciate the risks associated with left-turning vehicles and take the necessary precautions to avoid these types of collisions. However, there will always be situations in which the operator of the motorcycle simply has no time to react to a reckless driver.
Maybe it is from all my years of representing victims of motorcycle accidents, but when I see a motorcyclist while driving, I am always cautiously aware of their location in relation to my vehicle. I recently saw a bumper sticker that said, “Look twice for motorcycles.” If every driver made a conscious effort to do follow this sage advice, the roads would be much safer for everyone.
If you, a loved one or a friend have any questions regarding a claim resulting from a collision involving a motorcycle, please do not hesitate to contact Wieland, Hilado & DeLattre at (407) 841-7699. For additional resources, keep checking our blog, LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more helpful hints and to always be informed about best practices in law.