Left turns and the extreme danger for motorcyclists

Have you ever met someone who says that they hate turning left when they’re driving? As it turns out, they’re on to something. The reality is that left turns are incredibly dangerous for drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Some have even argued that the road systems should do away with them entirely.

“Left turns create some concerns when it comes to generating potential for congestion, back-up traffic flow, safety, accident situations,” said one engineer. “So if you can eliminate left turns, especially concurrent left turns, that’s a positive.”

What they would prefer is that drivers make multiple right turns and perhaps loop around their end destination, rather than turning left. While going left may be the most direct route, it’s also the most dangerous. It causes congestion for other drivers going the same way, and it’s a potential hazard for drivers going the opposite direction as the car crosses into their path. Even though drivers are supposed to wait until they have space to make the turn safely, wouldn’t it make sense to set things up so that they never had to cross oncoming traffic at all?

The risk for motorcyclists

Let’s take a bit closer of a look at the risk for motorcyclists. It’s greater than it is for other drivers since motorcyclists have little protection. Their small size often works against them. Many drivers who cut them off and turn in front of them later say that they simply never saw the bike at all.

The impact is devastating for a motorcyclist. They hit the side of the car, which protects the driver of that car, but the biker has no protection. They can impact the vehicle or get thrown all the way over it and into the street. There’s no give. There’s no glancing blow. This is a full-on crash with a rigid obstacle, and bikers often suffer life-changing or even fatal injuries.

The statistics back this up. Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 36 percent of deadly motorcycle accidents happen because of this one single cause. That’s a massive proportion, including just over one out of every three deadly accidents.

Part of the reason for the incredible danger is that motorcyclists have no way to avoid the accident. If they go to the right, they’re moving in the same direction as the turning car. If they go to the left, they drive into oncoming traffic. No matter what, they’ll get into a horrific crash.

Your rights

Have you gotten injured in an accident in Phoenix with a driver who turned left in front of you? If so, you need to know if you have a right to financial compensation.

Contact Us

Findlaw Network