We all travel through intersections every day—probably never thinking about the dangers they pose; however, intersections are very dangerous for all motorists as well as pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. In fact, one of the most dangerous and common types of motorcycle accidents is an intersection crash.
Because of a motorcycle’s small size, it can be hard for other drivers to determine the distance and speed of a motorcycle. Additionally, some drivers don’t even look out for motorcycles or see them due to their small size. As a result, a driver may end up making a left turn into the pathway of a motorcyclist.
Left Turns: Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Even though motorcycles have excellent handling, grippy tires, and powerful brakes, when a driver makes a left-hand turn into a motorcyclist’s line of travel, it can be almost impossible for a motorcycle operator not to crash. Approximately 70 percent of motorcycle crashes involving other vehicles take place in intersections, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
While some motorcyclists are responsible for intersection accidents due to excessive speed or red-light running, the majority of intersection crashes involving motorcycles are caused by other drivers—especially drivers of left-hand turning vehicles. Although motorcyclists can’t help motorists be better drivers and make smart decisions, they can do some of the following things to avoid an intersection accident caused by left-hand turn drivers:
- Get educated and take a motorcycle safety course.
- Look for clues to predict driver behavior, such as looking at the wheels to see if they indicate a turning vehicle.
- Cover your brake and slow down when there is a gap in traffic near an intersection.
- Wear bright colored gear—especially on the helmet—to be more visible to drivers.
- Wear proper protective equipment.
Because motorcyclists are rarely to blame for left-turn intersection accidents, it is critical that other drivers do their part and help reduce these types of motorcycle collisions. Some of the things drivers can do to help protect motorcyclists in intersections include:
- Pay attention to the road. Texting and other types of distracted driving can cause a driver to miss seeing a small motorcycle.
- Look for motorcycles and look twice before turning. Because motorcycles are smaller than cars, some drivers fail to see them.
- Assume a motorcycle is closer than it appears. Due to a motorcycle’s small size, it can be tough for a driver to determine its distance.
Because motorcyclists are more vulnerable to injuries in collisions, it is important that everyone works together to help reduce these types of motorcycle accidents. Please share this information with your friends and family by selecting one of your favorite social media icons to the left of the screen. You never know—you might be able to save someone’s life with the click of a button.