Published on:

The Fatality Risk Posed by Vans and Trucks making Left Hand Turns in front of Motorcycles Resulting in Crashes in Florida

With the summer weather rapidly approaching, left turn motorcycle accident season has nearly arrived. While the warm weather makes riding a motorcycle appealing, many motorists are not yet accustomed to looking out for bikes in the first few weeks of the summer. Motorcyclists must be extra vigilant when riding in the early stages of the summer while drivers of passenger cars become more accustomed to sharing the road with two-wheeled vehicles. One of the most common and dangerous types of motorcycle accident during this period is where a car or truck makes a left hand turn cutting off the path of a motorcycle.causing a crash.

A left turn accident involving a car or truck striking a motorcycle often occurs when the driver of a car, truck or SUV exits a parking lot or driveway by make left hand turns without checking adequately for approaching motorcycles. The motorcyclist often has no viable evasive maneuver to avoid a collision with the larger passenger vehicle. Predictably, the motorcyclist typically bears the brunt of the impact when cars and motorcycles collide. It is important to remember that any driver must first see a potential danger and then send a message to their brain and have the brain react. The time it takes to react is called “Reaction time.” It is critical to remember that during the period of reaction time (often 1.5-2.5 seconds,) the car, truck or SUV is moving forward without slowing or taking evasive action.

Our Miami personal injury law firm has often used “Time Sequence Analysis” to show where a vehicle was when it should have perceived a danger, how far it traveled during the “Reaction Time” (which is dependant upon speed – the faster a vehicle is going te more feet it covers in a second) and then what action was taken to avoid the collision. With this approach we have bee very successful in showing how our client’s could not have avoided impact and injury.

When the driver of a passenger car is focused on grooming, texting, talking on a cell phone or eating rather than driving, the risk of catastrophic injuries and wrongful death is far greater for motorcyclists than occupants of passenger cars because reaction time is extended.. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to suffer fatal injury in a crash than occupants of passenger vehicles based mostly on the difference in the relative weight of the vehicle vs. the motorcycle and the crash worthiness of each..

The NHTSA also reports that the fatality rate per registered vehicle is 5.5 times higher for motorcycles than passenger cars. This high fatality rate for motorcyclists is a product of the diminished stability and margin for error when riding a motorcycle. While studies show that rider inexperience contributes to some motorcycle crashes, experienced and careful riders are still vulnerable to drivers who suddenly execute a left turn in front of the rider. One fact pattern that we have uncovered is very dangerous to motorcycle drivers. That situation occurs when a car, truck or SUV is stopped waiting to make a left turn. The cyclist, seeing the stopped vehicle rightfully believes that they are stopped because the motorcycle has the right of way. However, all too often the vehicle suddenly turns left into te path of the motorcycle because they did not perceive the danger..

Because of the high risk of encountering a distracted, impaired, speeding or otherwise careless passenger car driver during the summer, motorcyclists should always were protective gear. The high fatality rate associated with motorcycle accidents stems from the high number of head injuries. While motorcyclists should always wear a DOT approved motorcycle helmet, padded jackets, boots and gloves also help diminish injuries . But wearing a helmet is particularly important because traumatic brain injuries are the leading cause of fatalities in motorcycle crashes.

Given the high risk of fatal head injuries and limited ability of motorcyclists to avoid collisions caused by negligent drivers making left turns, the importance of wearing a motorcycle helmet can scarcely be overstated. The NHTSA indicates that a motorcyclist who is not wearing a helmet that meets federal safety standards is 40 percent more likely to die in a motorcycle crash. The federal agency also reports that helmets saved the lives of more than 1,800 people during a one year period, but over 800 more would have been saved if all riders had been wearing helmets. An examination of motorcycle crash data by federal safety agencies found that four in ten motorcycle accidents involve passenger vehicles making left turns in front of a motorcycle. Unfortunately, a few years ago, Florida did away with requiring helmets on cyclists who have minimal insurance coverage. Hopefully, the Florida legislature will act to reinstate the helmet law soon.

IMPORTANT TIP: In each and every case our office handles we make it a practice to go over each and every complaint our client has from the top of their head to the bottom of their feet. We do this because patients fail to tell their physician all of their complaints, thinking that what they are feeling is not related to the injuries received in their case. We are not doctors but we explain to the client to let the doctor know because he/she may feel that there is a relation. For example, a person complaining of lower back pain may not tell their doctor that they are having tingling or numbness in their leg. By telling the doctor this, they can examine the patient and determine the cause of the complaint.

In each and every case our office handles we make it a practice to go over each and every complaint our client has from the top of their head to the bottom of their feet. We do this because patients fail to tell their physician all of their complaints, thinking that what they are feeling is not related to the injuries received in their case. We are not doctors but we explain to the client to let the doctor know because he/she may feel that there is a relation. For example, a person complaining of neck pan and discomfort may not tell their doctor that they are having tingling or numbness in their hands or fingers.. By telling the doctor this, they can examine the patient and determine the cause of the complaint and threat them accordingly.

Our Miami motorcycle accident attorneys have successfully handled serious injury claims involving drivers making left hand turns in front of motorcyclists with the right of way. We have recovered from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars for our clients in motor vehicle accident cases. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or if a loved one has died, you should immediately contact a law firm experienced in handling these cases. With more than 70 years of combined professional experience handling motorcycle accident cases, the lawyers at Greenberg Stone and Urbano have the knowledge, commitment and experience to fight for the compensation injury victims need to rebuild their lives. Please call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule an initial consultation.

Contact Information