Why Turns Can Be Deadly for Motorcycle Riders

One of the top causes of serious motorcycle crashes is being struck by a car or other motor vehicle turning left or making a U-turn. Typically, this occurs because the driver of the larger vehicle doesn’t check their blind spots thoroughly before making a turn, so they fail to see the much-smaller motorcycle.

As of this writing, one such accident reportedly took the life of a Hollywood star. 71-year-old Treat Williams was riding his motorcycle when a driver in an SUV allegedly turned in front of him, cutting him off. Unable to avoid the large vehicle, Williams was thrown from his motorcycle and tragically died soon after from his extensive injuries.

What can be done to reduce the risk of a motorcycle accident caused by a driver’s failure to notice a rider? We have some suggestions for car and truck drivers… and for motorcyclists as well.

Watch Out for Motorcycles When Making a Turn

If you drive any four- (or more) wheeled vehicle, it is your responsibility to pay attention to the road and those you share it with, at all times. This means not allowing yourself to become distracted by your cellphone, tuning the radio, adjusting your GPS, eating, or anything else.

Distracted drivers forget to look carefully before making a turn or put too much trust in their mirrors alone. A glance into your rearview or side mirror might be enough to spot another vehicle close to or of equal size to yours before making a turn. However, motorcycles are small and slim in comparison and easily disappear into blind spots. Always turn your head and confirm that there is truly no one in your way.

Additionally, making a sudden U-turn—especially where marked as illegal—can easily cause a motorcycle rider to crash. While it is important for riders to expect the unexpected, they can only react so quickly and maneuver so fast as to avoid ramming into you or avoid being struck as you spin around. If you must make a U-turn, only do so where you are allowed to legally, and even then take extra precautions to check mirrors and turn your head to ensure no motorcycles are anywhere near you.

How Motorcyclists Can Avoid Left and U-Turn Crashes

Unfortunately, there is only so much a motorcycle rider can do to proactively avoid being struck by motor vehicles making left or U-turns. One suggestion is to regularly glance at the tires of a car or truck ahead of you, as you might be able to discern when they are shifting into a turn. You can also glance into the side mirror of a larger vehicle. If you cannot see yourself in it, assume you are in a blind spot and move away as quickly as possible.

Make sure you do everything you can to draw other drivers’ attention to your presence by keeping your lights on, wearing reflectors or reflective tape, and using your bike’s signals or hand gestures to indicate when you are about to turn.

Be extra cautious when traveling into intersections, where left turns by oncoming traffic are common. Finally, always leave as much distance between yourself and other vehicles as possible, so you have enough time to stop or swerve should a driver make an unexpected turn.

Call Motorcycle Accident Attorney Scott J. Corwin

Whether completely accidental or due to carelessness, you do not want to wind up injured by a motorist turning into your motorcycle or causing you to slam into them or anything else. However, if the worst occurs, remember that you have the right to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact Scott J. Corwin, A Professional Law Corporation, for help seeking the justice you deserve.

Contact our office today by calling (310) 683-2300 or filling out the online contact form to discuss the details of your case and learn more about how we can help you. We offer free consultations, so there’s no reason not to reach out to someone from our team right away.