Under Florida law, a driver making a left-hand turn must yield to oncoming traffic. While most drivers look out for sedans, SUVs, and trucks before proceeding through the turn, many drivers fail to watch out for motorcycles. Unfortunately, due to their small size, motorcycles are often overlooked—especially when drivers are making left-hand turns.
Drivers who continue their left turns without seeing an oncoming motorcycle will turn directly into its path. When this happens, the motorcyclist typically slams into the driver's side of the car, causing the motorcyclists to be ejected. Even when a motorcycle is traveling surface street speeds between 30–40 miles per hour, a motorcyclist can suffer life-threatening injuries upon crashing.
Unfortunately, these types of motorcycle accidents occur throughout South Florida and around the nation far too often. Recently, an 18-year-old man died in a crash on Cortez Road in Bradenton when a 90-year-old driver attempted to make a left turn in front of his motorcycle.
Sometimes drivers don’t see motorcyclists due to their failing eye sight or just because they aren’t looking out for them on the road. In either event, motorcyclists pay the price and suffer needlessly as a result of drivers failing to yield.
Because left turn motorcycle accidents seem to be an epidemic sweeping the nation, motorcyclists need to ride defensively and drivers need to do a better job of watching out for motorcycles. At Mallard Perez, we urge all drivers to yield to motorcyclists and to remember that they are more vulnerable in the event of a crash.