Careless Left Turns by Motorists Cause Injuries to Motorcyclists
One common cause of Florida Motorcycle Accidents involve a careless or negligent left hand turn. There is a campaign that has been out there for a number of years with the simple message "Look Twice for Motorcycles". This simple but great advice is especially applicable to the driving maneuver of making a left hand turn. Any time that a driver is attempting a left hand turn on at an intersection involving two way traffic, the person attempting the turn should make sure that it is safe and clear to do so. If There should not be any doubt about the speed, distance, and safety of oncoming traffic for a person intending on completing the left hand turn. If there is some safety concern or timing question about the turn, the driver should wait and allow oncoming traffic to clear before attempting the left hand turn.
Pursuant to Section 316.151, Florida Statutes, Required Position and Method of Turning at Intersections, a driver intending a left hand turn must yield to oncoming traffic at an intersection.
It should be noted that the majority of motorcycle accidents in the State of Florida involve head on crashes rather than rear end collisions. Because of the size, height, and width of most motorcycles, motorist often fail to see motorcycles as they are approaching from the opposite direction. In addition, there is a rampant problem with motorist who speed, who are distracted, and who otherwise operate their motor vehicles in a careless and negligent manner.
For some motorcycle crashes, there is no contact between the turning vehicle and the motorcyclist; however, there is still a crash of the motorcycle due to evasive maneuvers by the biker who did what he or she could to avoid crashing into the negligent turning vehicle. As such, the report of a single vehicle (motorcycle) accident in news report may be somewhat misleading at times.
Under the aforementioned Florida Statute, the law essentially gives the right of way to oncoming traffic. The driver of a motor vehicle in the State of Florida (as well as other states) must be careful when attempting a left hand turn. There is a duty to yield to oncoming traffic. The failure to yield can and does lead to horrific consequences in the form of personal injuries and even the wrongful death of motorcyclists.
When pursuing a claim or case for personal injuries in the State of Florida, it is helpful if the other driver is issued a traffic citation; however, it should be noted that the issuance or lack of issuance of a traffic citation is not a controlling fact on the civil case for personal injuries. In other words, the investigating police officer, who most likely did not witness the actual crash taking place, does not get to control the future or results of the civil case involving the fault of the driver and the resulting injuries and damages.
David A. Wolf is an attorney with over 28 years of experience in the handling of motorcycle accidents, automobile accidents, trucking accidents, and other personal injury matters. He is the author of 12 books including the book titled Florida Automobile Accidents - Personal Injuries - Keys to Protecting and Enforcing Your Legal Rights. David A. Wolf provides a free consultation on all personal injury and accident cases. He is available days, nights, weekends, and holidays to his clients and prospective clients. Contact David A. Wolf right now. Get D. Wolf On Your Side - At Your Side.