Perhaps the single most dangerous situation for motorcyclists is when they are approaching an intersection in which an oncoming driver is attempting to make a left-hand turn. These left-turn accidents are responsible for a significant portion of the total Maryland motorcycle accidents that occur each year. Indeed, it is estimated that left-turn accidents account for about 42% of all motorcycle accidents.
Left-turn accidents are not unique to motorcycles; however, the slim profile of a motorcycle makes it more difficult for other motorists to see that a motorcycle is approaching and correctly assess its speed. Thus, motorists routinely begin a turn when they do not have time to complete it, cutting off the motorcyclist as they enter the intersection. The motorcyclist is then left with little to no time to react.
As a general rule, a motorist making a left turn is required to yield to motorcycles that are continuing straight through an intersection. Thus, most left-turn accidents are determined to be the fault of the turning motorist. However, if the motorcyclist is speeding at the time they enter the intersection, the motorcyclist may be found to have caused the accident.