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How Do Left Turns Cause Motorcycle Accidents?

Roberts Wilson, P.A. | May 15, 2023

One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is left-hand turns. The problem is generally because drivers of cars and trucks do not keep a proper lookout for smaller vehicles like motorcycles. This is a devastating mistake. Drivers of passenger vehicles must watch out for motorcycle riders and be sure that intersections are clear, with no approaching vehicles, before making a left-hand turn.

At Roberts Wilson, P.A., we know the devastation a motorcycle accident can have on victims and their families. We are passionate about pursuing justice on behalf of our neighbors in Mississippi. If you were hurt in a motorcycle crash, we encourage you to contact our office for a FREE case evaluation with an experienced attorney.

Understanding Left Turn Motorcycle Accidents

A left turn accident occurs when a vehicle makes a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle. This can happen in a variety of locations, such as intersections, driveways, and parking lots. Left turn accidents can be particularly dangerous for motorcyclists because they often result in a collision at high speed, with little time for the rider to react.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), left-turn accidents account for 42% of all motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle. This makes left-turn accidents the most common type of accident for motorcycles.

Factors that Contribute to Left Turn Crashes

As a motorcycle rider, left turn crashes can be extremely dangerous and sometimes fatal. Left-turn motorcycle accidents can result for a number of reasons, often including factors such as:

Lack of Visibility

One of the main contributing factors in left-turn motorcycle wrecks is a lack of visibility. Motorcycles are smaller than cars, and they can be difficult to see, especially in low-light conditions or when the rider is wearing dark clothing. In addition, motorcycles can be obscured by other vehicles or objects, such as trees or buildings.

Driver Error

Another factor that contributes to left-turn motorcycle crashes is driver error. Drivers may misjudge the speed or distance of an oncoming motorcycle, or they may fail to yield the right of way. In some cases, drivers may be distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, making it more difficult for them to see or react to a motorcycle.

Left Turn Accidents and Lane Splitting

The term ”lane splitting” describes when a motorcyclist rides between two lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic. Lane splitting is neither prohibited nor allowed under Mississippi law. However, bikers should avoid lane splitting due to the increased risk of left-turn accidents. Lane splitting can make it difficult for drivers to anticipate the motorcycle’s movement between two lanes of traffic, and drivers may not expect a motorcycle to be traveling between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic. 

Additionally, If you were lane splitting at the time of your accident, you may be held partially responsible for the crash and recover less than you may have in a personal injury lawsuit.

Preventing Left Turn Motorcycle Accidents

Left turn accidents are a significant risk for motorcycle riders. These crashes can be caused by a variety of factors, including lack of visibility, driver error, and lane splitting. To prevent left turn accidents, consider taking the following steps:

Increase Your Visibility

One of the most important steps to avoid left turn accidents is to increase your visibility. This can be done by wearing brightly colored or reflective clothing, using daytime running lights, and positioning the motorcycle in a way that makes it more visible to other drivers.

Anticipate Left Turn Situations

Another important step is to anticipate left-turn situations. Motorcyclists should always be aware of their surroundings and be prepared for a driver to make a left turn in front of them. This means keeping a safe distance from other vehicles and adjusting speed and position as necessary.

Stay Alert and Be Prepared

Motorcycles have a smaller turning radius than cars, which means they may not be able to avoid an accident in the same way that a car can. Motorcyclists should be prepared to brake or swerve if necessary, but they should also be aware that these maneuvers may not be enough to avoid a collision.

Communicate with Other Drivers

Finally, it is important to communicate with other drivers. As a biker, use hand signals or horn blasts to let drivers know where you are and what your intentions are. You should also make eye contact with drivers whenever possible to ensure that the driver is aware of your presence.

How a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help 

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, you may be facing serious injuries, high medical bills, and time away from work that you and your family can’t afford. In these difficult situations, it is in your best interest to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. An attorney can help you in several ways, including:

  • Investigating the accident: A lawyer will investigate the accident to determine who is at fault. An attorney will work to obtain witness statements, review police reports, and gather other evidence to build a strong case on your behalf.
  • Calculating damages: An experienced lawyer can calculate the damages you’ve suffered as a result of the accident. These damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other losses.
  • Negotiating with insurance companies: Insurance companies try to pay out as little as possible; an attorney knows how to effectively negotiate with insurance companies to recover the compensation you deserve.
  • Representing you in court: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, a lawyer may recommend taking your case to court. As a knowledgeable litigator, an attorney can present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and argue on your behalf to ensure that you receive fair compensation.
  • Providing emotional support: A lawyer can also provide emotional support to you during this difficult time. At Roberts Wilson, P.A., we often meet our clients at some of the most challenging and frightening times of their lives. We will listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and provide guidance throughout the legal process.

The motorcycle accident lawyers at Roberts Wilson, P.A. have substantial experience working with injured bikers. We understand the unique challenges you may be facing at this difficult time. We will handle every aspect of your case so you can focus solely on healing.

Call a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Mississippi for FREE

If you were injured in a left-hand accident or another type of motorcycle crash because of someone else’s negligence, you deserve justice. The motorcycle accident lawyers at Roberts Wilson, P.A. can help. It won’t cost you anything to see if we can help and you never owe a fee unless we collect for you.

Contact Roberts Wilson, P.A. today online or at (662) 533-9111 for a FREE case evaluation. We welcome clients from across Mississippi, including Oxford, Holly Springs, Batesville, Pontotoc, Desoto & Tate counties, and other areas.