Approximately $12.5 billion in costs are incurred each year as a result of losses from motorcycle accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Motorcycle collisions can cause much more than just monetary loss. Victims often suffer permanent injuries as a result of motorcycle accidents and many motorcyclists are killed in collisions because the motorcycle offers them little or no protection from impact.
Due to the serious risk of motorcycle accidents, it is important for not just motorcycle riders but also other drivers on the road to understand how accidents happen and to take steps to prevent crashes from occurring. One state Motor Vehicle Administration provides information on common causes of motorcycle crashes and on steps that can be taken by drivers to reduce the chances that such a crash will occur.
Every motorist should understand the potential risks they face on the road. One of the most common types of crashes involving motorcyclists happens when a driver is making a left turn at an intersection.
One such crash occurred recently and was reported on by Star Telegram. The incident happened at approximately 5 p.m. on a Monday when a man was traveling east on his motorcycle. A truck that was headed west made a left turn to try to go south on Main Street. The truck hit the motorcycle rider. The rider was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, but he died at the hospital of his injuries.
Motorcycle accidents like this one occur all the time because drivers who are making left turns often do not see motorcycle riders and the drivers who do see motorcycle riders frequently misjudge their speed. Motorcycles are smaller than passenger cars and drivers don't usually think to look for motorcycles before they make their turn. A driver's sense of speed is also affected by size.
A driver feels more intimidated by a larger truck or car coming at his vehicle and is more likely to assume that truck or vehicle is traveling fast, thus the driver stops for the oncoming truck or vehicle. The motorcycle, on the other hand, may not seem as if it is as much of a threat and may not seem as if it is traveling as fast as it is. The driver is thus more inclined to cut off the motorcyclist.
Unfortunately, left turn accidents at intersections are not the only example of motorcycle crashes likely to be caused by the fact that a driver does not see a motorcycle rider. Another very common cause of accident is drivers changing lanes and hitting a motorcyclist or cutting off the motorcycle rider. Again, the driver may simply not see the rider or judge accurately how fast the motorcyclist is going. This can lead the driver to cause serious and often fatal accidents as the driver changes lanes.