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Why are left turns dangerous for motorcyclists?

On Behalf of | Sep 18, 2023 | Motorcycle Accidents |

Left turns at intersections pose a significant threat to motorcyclists. It is important to recognize that the blame for these dangers often falls on factors beyond the control of the riders themselves.

As you share the road with the 9.89 million registered motorcycles in America as of 2021, according to Statista, knowing more about these factors can give you a better understanding of motorcycle safety.

Misjudgment of speed

Another driver misjudging the speed of an oncoming motorcycle often leads to accidents during left turns. Motorcycles are agile and can accelerate rapidly. However, many drivers underestimate the speed of approaching motorcycles, assuming they have more time to complete their left turn. This miscalculation can result in collisions that are not the fault of the motorcyclist.

Failure to yield the right of way

Motorcyclists have the same rights as other vehicles on the road, but they frequently suffer injuries because drivers fail to yield the right of way. This problem arises when drivers making left turns disregard the motorcyclist’s right of way, thinking they can complete their turn before the motorcycle arrives. Such reckless actions can have severe consequences, yet it is not the fault of the motorcyclist.

Lack of protective barriers

Motorcycles offer minimal protection compared to cars, trucks or other enclosed vehicles. In an accident, the rider is entirely exposed, making them more susceptible to severe injuries.

Even minor collisions during left turns can result in significant harm to motorcyclists due to the absence of protective barriers. The vulnerability of riders is not their fault but rather an inherent feature of motorcycle design.

Road conditions

The condition of the road can further amplify the risks motorcyclists face during left turns. Uneven road surfaces, potholes, debris or wet conditions can cause riders to lose control, particularly when navigating turns. Drivers initiating left turns may not always consider these road conditions when making maneuvers, which can contribute to accidents.

Even a simple drive on a back road can lead to a crash if people around you are not paying attention. Awareness of these dangers and cautious driving practices by all road users can help reduce accidents and ensure safer roads for motorcyclists and everyone else.