Multiple news outlets reported a motorcyclist suffered serious injuries Monday, May 31st, in a crash with a Ford F-150 pickup on U.S. 19. The accident was reported at 8:40 PM. The F-150 was making a left turn from U.S. 19 into a parking lot at 9359 U.S. 19 when it collided with a 2008 Suzuki motorcycle heading north in the curb lane. The truck entered the curb lane, and the motorcyclist laid the bike down and collided with the front end of the truck. The motorcyclist was taken to a nearby hospital with critical injuries. Our thoughts go out to the victim of this devastating accident, and their loved ones.
Cause of the Accident Is Under Investigation
Motorcycles have a narrow profile and unfortunately, are extremely vulnerable to left-turn accidents when a car makes a left turn and fails to yield. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that unfortunately, this scenario (a vehicle driver turning left into the path of a motorcycle going straight) accounts for an estimated 42% of all accidents involving a motorcycle and another vehicle.
The cause of the accident remains under investigation. IonTB reported that “ neither speed nor impairment was a factor in the causation of the crash.” Based on the limited information available, it is not clear what happened. Investigators will look at whether the driver should have seen the motorcyclist, or if any other factors were involved. A driver who fails to yield to the path of a motorcyclist may be liable for an accident, and the resulting injuries or deaths.
Under Florida Vehicle Code 316.122, the driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction, or vehicles lawfully passing on the left of the turning vehicle, which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.
Avoiding Left-Turn Accidents
Drivers making left turns should always consider the possibility of a bicyclist or motorcyclist being in the area – and always look for them. The NHTSA recommends drivers take certain steps to reduce the likelihood of a left-turn collision:
- Slow down at intersections and ensure nobody is in your blind spots
- Visually scan for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists
- Use rear and side view mirrors
- Proceed with caution.
The NHTSA says “I just didn’t see him” is a common claim after a left-turn accident – and 41% of all motorcycle crashes are due to drivers failing to see motorcycles. Failure to see a driver does not absolve a driver or reduce the degree of negligence and fault. Left-turn accidents are avoidable and preventable, and drivers must take precautions to avoid collisions. Understanding the blind spots on your vehicle can greatly improve your odds of avoiding a collision with a motorcyclist or bicyclist.
Discuss Your Potential Case With a Qualified Attorney
Accident victims and their family members are well-advised to contact an experienced and reputable Florida personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following an accident. The Coleman Law Group offers a free consultation to answer your questions and discuss your legal rights. If we represent you in your case, we will not charge any legal fees unless we recover money for you.