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Why are cars turning left such a threat to motorcyclists?

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2023 | Automobile Accidents |

Using the roads as a motorcyclist can be a fun experience, but it also comes with its fair share of dangers, particularly when it comes to left turns made by cars.

When a car makes a left turn at an intersection, the driver may not see an oncoming motorcycle for a variety of reasons. As a result, car drivers might not stop until it is too late, leading to a collision.

Misjudging speed

In 2020, motorcyclists were 28 times more likely to suffer from a fatality in a crash than people in passenger cars per vehicle miles traveled. A source of those crashes is cars making left turns and misjudging the speed and distance of oncoming motorcycles.

Car drivers typically guess the speed of larger vehicles, but they may struggle to estimate how quickly a motorcycle is approaching. This can lead to situations where cars start their left turn too early, cutting off motorcyclists and leaving them with very little time to react.

Suffering from distractions

Making a left turn requires drivers to cross multiple lanes of traffic quickly. This requires fast decision-making and full attention from drivers. Unfortunately, distractions like a cell phone can slow down a driver’s reaction time.

For motorcyclists, these seconds of hesitation may have serious consequences. Another driver’s actions might lead to a loss of control for both vehicles and end in a crash.

Feeling rushed

Left turns involve crossing lanes of oncoming traffic, which means they have to commit to a turn when they start it. This sense of urgency can sometimes lead drivers to take unnecessary risks. As a result, they might not look well enough before making the turn and end up hitting a motorcycle.

Acknowledging the visibility challenges, the potential for misjudgment and the importance of quick responses is important for preventing accidents. Car drivers need to stay alert while on the road.