Richard S. Lundin
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Personal injury and family law attorney licensed to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia
Intersections can be dangerous for any driver, particularly for hard-to-see motorcyclists. A bulk of Maryland motorcycle accidents can be attributed to another driver turning left in front of the motorcyclist, usually because the driver could not see the bike.

While defensive driving techniques can help avoid some of these potentially fatal crashes, motorcycle safety experts have focused on this dangerous "left turn" phenomenon to see if electronics can be used to make the roads a little safer.

According to an online article from BMW Motorcycle Magazine, a European-funded group known as the BMW Group Research and Technology has a project solely dedicated to creating an electronic device called the "left turn assistant." This device would help drivers - specifically those who are trying to turn left - become aware of oncoming traffic.

Test vehicles are equipped with global positioning systems, cameras, and sensors to register:
  • When the driver is in a left turn lane.
  • If there is any traffic within 330 feet from the spot where the driver wishes to turn.

The vehicle sounds an alarm if it registers any oncoming traffic that the driver has failed to see. What's more, the vehicle will automatically apply the brakes to avoid a Maryland auto accident if the driver ignores the alarm.

As a project of INTERSAFE 2, an association of several European auto makers, the left turn assistant project was showcased at an auto event in Germany earlier this month.
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