Every time riders hit the road, they expose themselves to a variety of risks. For motorcyclists, one of the most perilous situations they encounter is when other vehicles make left turns.
Considering that there were 5,700 fatal motorcycle crashes in 2020, according to Statista, motorcyclists need to take into account how quickly a simple interaction can turn into a life-threatening situation.
Left-turning vehicles can cause sudden stops that motorcycles may not be able to avoid. When a driver realizes they cannot complete the left turn safely due to oncoming traffic, they may slam on the brakes.
This abrupt stop can be catastrophic for motorcyclists following closely behind, as they may not have sufficient time to brake and can collide with the vehicle or fall from their bikes. This sudden jolt and fall may result in anything from a spinal cord injury to serious head trauma.
Another issue that arises during left turns is misjudging the speed of motorcycles. Car drivers are typically better at gauging the speed of other cars, and this means drivers may not understand the common acceleration and deceleration patterns of motorcycles. If a car driver misjudges a motorcycle’s speed, they could pull out in front of them, causing a dangerous situation and potential collision.
Failure to yield
Left-turning vehicles are often responsible for failing to yield the right of way to oncoming motorcycles. In many instances, car drivers underestimate the distance and speed of an approaching motorcycle and attempt to make a left turn, thinking they have enough time. This violation of right of way puts motorcyclists in a perilous position, forcing them to take evasive action or collide with the turning vehicle.
Unlike larger vehicles, motorcycles have a smaller profile, making them easier to miss when other drivers do not look closely enough. This significantly increases the risk of collisions when a vehicle turns left without checking for smaller vehicles.
Motorcyclists need to know the ways that they are particularly at risk around larger vehicles. By learning about how trucks and cars interact with motorcycles, they can better understand how they can handle themselves on the road.