Accidents involving motorcycles are more likely to involve serious injury or death. In the majority of these cases, the car strikes the motorcycle from the front – 78% of the time. In only 5% of the cases is the motorcycle struck from the rear.
So how do most motorcycle accidents happen? With vehicles making left-hand turns. In fact, nearly 42% of the time accidents involving a motorcycle and a car occur when the car is turning left.
Whether you’re on a motorcycle or in a car, here’s what you can do it reduce your risk of being in a left-turn accident at an intersection.
If you’re turning left:
- Stop…completely before turning
- Look…carefully for oncoming traffic or anyone in the crosswalk where you’ll be turning
- Wait…patiently until there is an absolute, clear break in oncoming traffic.
If you’re traveling straight through an intersection:
- Reduce…your speed as you approach the intersection to slightly below the speed limit
- Scan…the intersection ahead as you approach
- Anticipate…whether a left-turning vehicle might turn in front of you
- Be prepared…to brake or take evasive action if the left-turning vehicle turns into your path
And be especially careful when you’re approaching an intersection in the right lane and traffic is stopped in the lane to your left – in that case a driver coming in the opposite direction about to turn left can’t see you through the stopped cars and you can't see the car until it's in your path. Your best defense is to slow down and be prepared to brake.