Turning Left in Front of Oncoming Motorcycles: Inattention That Kills

This week we covered a tragic motorcycle accident in Melbourne, Florida: 65-year-old Roland Merritt of Palm Bay was riding his bike on Wickham Road when a car traveling in the opposite direction attempted a left turn directly in the biker’s path. Merritt was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, while the driver of the car was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.

Sadly, this was not a freak accident or just bad luck: every year, left-turn accidents like the one described above take place across Florida. Because these crashes involve a motorcycle slamming into the broad side of a car with little time to brake or react, they often result in catastrophic injuries or fatal injuries for the person riding the bike.

Perhaps the most tragic aspect of these accidents? They are absolutely preventable. Motorists simply need to be more aware that motorcycles are on the roads and motorcyclists need to do everything in their power to remain visible to other drivers.

 

The anatomy of a left-turn motorcycle accident

What is at the center of these deadly motorcycle accidents? Inattention. Motorists making left turns glance up quickly before driving across the oncoming lane of traffic and fail to see the oncoming biker, likely because they are looking for cars, not motorcycles. The approaching motorcycle rider assumes that they have been spotted and continues along the road at their normal speed (they have the right-of-way in this situation). In seconds, a serious accident has taken place.

 

Orlando motorcycle accident attorney

Because the car is turning in front of a motorcycle with the right-of-way, the driver of the larger vehicle is almost always at fault for these left-turn accidents. However, it is important to understand that many factors are at play when it comes to collisions: the motorcycle rider could have been speeding, driving recklessly, or driving under the influence of alcohol. Never assume that you know the cause of a crash before having a professional examine the evidence in your case.

Have you or someone you love been injured or killed in a Florida motorcycle accident? You may wish to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney about your case. Call Johnson & Gilbert today to schedule a confidential consultation: 800.556.8890.