Why do drivers cause left-turn accidents?

On Behalf of | Oct 17, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

For motorcyclists, left-turn accidents are one of the greatest hazards that they face. If the rider is driving straight and believes they have the right of way, a  vehicle turning left ahead of them can cause a serious and sudden impact. The motorcycle rider may have no ability to avoid that crash since the entire road is blocked by the car as it turns.

Of course, this accident should never happen. Vehicles that are turning left are supposed to yield the right of way to cross traffic. A motorcycle that doesn’t have time to stop in order to avoid a collision was clearly close enough that the rider had the right of way and the driver made an inappropriate turn. But why do drivers make this mistake?

They don’t see the motorcycle

In many cases, drivers will say they never saw the motorcycle and they will act as if they are shocked by the accident. They may certainly be surprised. A lot of drivers overlook motorcycles because of their small size, which can make them appear to be at a greater distance than they really are.

Drivers will also fail to see motorcycles that are hidden by other traffic, which usually consists of much larger vehicles. For instance, a driver may be looking for a gap in traffic while waiting to turn. If a motorcycle is following a pickup truck and is completely hidden behind it, the other driver may think they see a gap. They’ll turn as soon as the pickup truck goes by, without realizing that a motorcycle is following.

Another issue is simply that drivers will misjudge the speed of the motorcycle and the distance that it is from their vehicle. As a result, they may actually see the bike and still think that they have time to make the turn. In reality, the bike will reach them before they complete the turn.

Have you been seriously injured?

Left turns are always dangerous because of the judgment calls they require, but they are especially dangerous for motorcyclists due to their lack of physical protection. Those who suffer serious injuries in these accidents need to know about all their legal options to seek financial compensation.