Left-Turn Motorcycle Accidents in Charlotte

One of the first instructions drivers receive when learning to drive is to check their blind spot. Driving a motor vehicle is a risky activity. The risk of a motorcycle accident increases when a driver is not mindful of blind spots. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable when it comes to blind spot accidents. Many drivers are not used to looking for and keeping track of motorcyclists on the road. Due to their smaller size, it can be easy to miss a motorcycle in a driver's blind spot. Unfortunately, blind spot motorcycle accidents can be hazardous, leading to spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage, and death.

What are Blind Spots?

A blind spot is an area that a driver cannot see with the eyes or mirror while driving. Drivers cannot see blind spots unless they turn their heads and divert their gaze from the road ahead. Blind spot motorcycle accidents happen when one or more drivers change directions or lanes while driving. A driver may fail to notice the motorcyclist in their blind spot and collide with them.

Also, blind spots can be caused by the pillars that connect the vehicle body to the vehicle roof. Additionally, objects in the vehicle or passengers can obscure a driver's vision, creating a blind spot. Blind spots do not always stay the same. They can shift as the driver's line of vision changes while driving. An accident can happen in a matter of seconds, making it essential that drivers are constantly vigilant about blind spots. Many motorcycle accidents involving blind spots occur when the passenger vehicle driver changes lanes and collides with a motorcyclist.

How Common are Blind Spot Accidents?

As specified by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), blind spots are responsible for causing approximately 840,000 motor vehicle accidents annually in the u.s. Blind spot accidents cause about 300 fatalities per year.

Causes of Blind Spot Motorcycle Accidents

The most common type of blind spot injury involving motorcycles happens when a driver attempts to change lanes but does not notice the motorcycle beside them. Motorcycles are smaller and may be beyond the vehicle driver's line of sight. When the driver attempts to change lanes, they can collide with the motorcycle, potentially forcing it off the road. Due to the force of impact, the accident can cause the motorcyclist to be thrown from the motorcycle, resulting in devastating injuries. Other blind spot accidents are caused by turning into oncoming traffic, failing to see motorcycles at crosswalks and intersections, and hitting a motorcycle while reversing or backing up.

Left-Turn Motorcycle Accidents in Charlotte

One of the most dangerous hazards associated with motorcycling involves left-hand turns. In some cases, other vehicles may not see a motorcyclist making a left-hand turn because of their blind spot. The driver may be distracted and not notice the motorcyclist turning. A motorcyclist recently lost his life in a preventable motorcycle accident on NC 55. The motorcyclist was attempting to make a left-hand turn. He overcorrected and collided with the passenger side of a Toyota. The Toyota driver was treated for minor injuries. Sadly, the motorcyclist was pronounced dead after arriving at the hospital. The origin of the accident is still under investigation, but speed may have been a factor. Drivers of trucks and passenger vehicles must be cautious when driving near a motorcycle.

Why are Left-Hand Turns So Dangerous for Motorcyclists?

Left-hand turns are more dangerous for motorcyclists and other drivers because they happen so often and carry a high risk of catastrophic injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that left-hand turning vehicles in an intersection are responsible for approximately 70% of motorcycle accidents and fatalities.

The reality is that distracted and rushing drivers endanger motorcyclists daily in North Carolina. When drivers forget to check their blind spots or fail to yield to a motorcyclist, they can cause a devastating or even fatal accident. Even though motorcyclists must wear helmets on public highways and roads, the impact of being struck by a larger vehicle on a motorcyclist can result in devastating injuries such as spinal cord injuries, internal organ damage, traumatic brain damage injuries, and more.

Causes of Left-Hand Turn Motorcycle Accidents

One of the leading causes of left-hand turn motorcycle accidents is the failure to see the motorcyclist. Visibility has always been a problem for motorcyclists. Car drivers often report that they never saw the motorcyclist until it was too late and they had already collided with them. Many left-hand turn collisions happen when the driver fails to see the motorcyclist turn at an intersection. As a result, a passenger vehicle can collide directly with the motorcyclist's side.

Driver Distraction

As with all auto accidents, driver distraction remains a significant factor. With all the technology available to us, including cell phones, tablets, GPS devices, and more, drivers are more distracted than ever. Motorists talking on the phone, texting, eating, or even watching videos have a slower reaction time. They often have lapses in judgment that can result in left-turn collisions with motorcycles.

Illegal Intersection Turns

Motorcyclists need to pay attention to drivers in their lane and oncoming traffic. Even if a motorcyclist has the right of way at a stop sign or intersection, they can still be victims of an accident. Sometimes vehicle drivers will unlawfully turn left at a red light. When drivers fail to obey traffic laws and enter the intersection at a red light, they put everyone's life at risk, especially motorcyclists.

Driver Error

Drivers are responsible for checking their own blind spots. Blind spots are areas where drivers cannot see other vehicles left and right. Passengers and a changing field of vision can also cause blind spots. When drivers change lanes or make a left-hand turn without checking their blind spots, it is easier to misjudge the motorcyclist's distance and speed. In other cases, they will not see the motorcyclist until it is too late. These scenarios lead to an increased risk of a left-hand turn accident.

Intoxicated Drivers

In North Carolina, driving while intoxicated by alcohol or other substances is a crime. It is difficult enough for many drivers to see motorcyclists and avoid making a left-hand turn into them. When drivers are intoxicated, their reaction times and senses are even more diminished. Intoxicated drivers cannot react quickly enough and focus on driving, making it more likely that they will turn left into a motorcyclist and cause them an injury.

Contact an Experienced Charlotte Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you or your loved one has been seriously injured in a Carolina motorcycle accident, you need an experienced attorney on your side. If you go through a personal injury lawsuit or an insurance settlement, you may be able to receive compensation for your accident. Contact the Charlotte motorcycle accident attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today to schedule your free initial consultation. Arnold & Smith, PLLC handles cases all over North Carolina and South Carolina.

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