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A deadly turn: drivers who turn left in front of motorcyclists

Even on the shortest jaunts, motorcyclists must always remain on alert. Why? Because of the potential dangers from motor vehicle drivers. Whether it is for fun, adventure, outings with friends or commuting to work, motorcyclists know that the slightest misstep by another driver can lead to a serious spill on their bike.

For example, a driver who failed to check his blind spot may change lanes without seeing the motorcyclist, colliding with the bike. But among the most dangerous situations may happen when a driver turns left in front of a motorcyclist.

Drivers misjudge distance or did not see biker

In 2020, nearly 2,750 fatal crashes occurred between a motorcycle and another type of motor vehicle, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of that total, 42.2% of the fatal crashes involved the other vehicle turning left in front of the motorcycle, which was either going straight or passing and overtaking other vehicles.

Such accidents often occur because the drivers claimed they did not see the motorcyclists. In other instances, the drivers may have misjudged the speed of the motorcycle or the distance between their vehicles before making that sometimes deadly turn.

Florida had the most motorcyclist fatalities in 2020

Florida has the distinction of recording the most motorcycle-related fatalities in 2020, according to the NHTSA. With 600 deaths, Florida accounted for nearly 11% of the country’s 5,579 motorcycle fatalities that year.

Using that national ratio of fatalities that occur when a driver turns left in front of a motorcycle, one could conceivably say that more than 250 of Florida’s motorcycle fatalities in 2020 happened just for that very reason.

Remain aware of the potential dangers

Motorcyclists must remain visible on the road. They know that. But other drivers must remain aware of the dangers that they can cause when sharing the road with motorcycles.

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