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Left-turn accidents typically occur when a driver turns without yielding right-of-way to a driver traveling straight ahead. In particular, left-turn motorcycle accidents often lead to severe injuries or fatalities. Due to the typical size and weight of a car, motorcyclists lack adequate protection when they collide with a much larger vehicle. When a left-turn driver strikes a motorcycle, the motorcyclist or their passengers may choose to bring a negligence lawsuit to recover compensation for their injuries. However, motorcyclists should first understand how courts determine fault in a left-turn motorcycle accident.

A recent news article reported on a left-turn accident that left a motorcyclist dead. According to the article, a woman in Florida was driving north when she turned left at an intersection. As the woman made the turn, she struck a motorcyclist traveling south, who was thrown off his motorcycle. The motorcyclist was taken to a nearby hospital, where he sadly died from his injuries.

How Can You Prove Fault in a Maryland Left-Turn Motorcycle Accident?

To prove fault in a Maryland left-turn accident, plaintiffs must show that the defendant’s negligent driving caused the accident. Failing to obey Maryland traffic laws can provide some evidence of fault. Under Maryland law, drivers making a left turn must yield the right-of-way to any oncoming vehicles. This rule applies on private roads and busy highways at intersections with or without a stop sign. Unless left-turn drivers have a green arrow traffic light, they do not have the right-of-way. While the driver making the left turn is often the at-fault party, there are circumstances when the fault lies with the injured party. For example, the injured driver or motorcycle rider may have committed a separate traffic violation, such as running a red light.

It is commonly known that motorcycle riders are at greater risk of injury and or death than car riders, but the actual disparity in risk is higher than one might think. In fact, some sources claim that for every mile traveled, motorcyclists are 35 times more likely than car riders to have a fatal accident. Given the tremendous risk of motorcycle accidents and the potentially fatal results of such crashes, both motorcyclists and drivers of cars should take extreme precautions when it comes to navigating traffic situations involving motorcycles and sharing the road.

Tragic and horrifying accidents are unfortunately all too common in Maryland and show the need for car drivers and motorcyclists to engage in exceedingly careful when driving at high speeds near or around motorcycles.

What Makes Riding a Motorcycle So Dangerous?

The smaller profile of motorcycles creates a greater likelihood of motorcycles occupying blind spots of larger vehicles and the open nature of motorcycle riding creates unique harm for riders involved in any crashes. When operators of larger vehicles only look out for other large vehicles and cars and fail to pay special attention to motorcycles and smaller vehicles, it places the smaller vehicles at great risk. In the event that a driver fails to see another vehicle, resulting in a crash, they could face both civil and criminal legal liability. A recent news article discussed a local fatal motorcycle crash.

There are significant risks in driving motorcycles. The smaller profile of motorcycles leaves them vulnerable to car blind spots and the open nature of motorcycles can throw drivers from the vehicle upon impact during a crash. Because of this, on average, driving or riding on a motorcycle is more dangerous than driving cars. Motorcycle riders are not protected by their vehicle in the way that the occupants of a car are. As a result, approximately 72 percent of motorcyclists are injured when they crash.

How Common Are Maryland Motorcycle Accidents?

Unfortunately, Maryland drivers are all too familiar with the dangers of motorcycle driving. Maryland on average has 73 motorcycle rider and passenger deaths per year and averages an additional 1,046 riders or drivers injured each year. This issue has continued to get worse in Maryland, with the state seeing an increase in motorcycle crashes from 2019 to 2020. A recent news article discussed an extremely serious fatal multi-vehicle motorcycle crash.

According to the news article, the accident happened on the morning of Saturday, June 3, around 11:20 am. The fatal crash occurred when a Toyota Corolla crossed the center line of a highway and hit five motorcycles according to the State Highway Patrol. Law enforcement officials stated that the five motorcycles were traveling north on Missouri 39 in Lawrence County, three miles north of Autora, and the Toyota Corolla was traveling south when the car veered out of its lane Saturday and crashed into the group of motorcycles, throwing the drivers and passengers from the bikes. Following the crash, the Toyota Corolla traveled off the west side of the road and landed in a ditch.

As the warmer months and summer approach, it is not uncommon for the number of people we are sharing the road with to increase as people get on the move to enjoy the sun. This includes an increase in pedestrians walking, and the number of motorcycles, motorbikes, and e-scooters to increase. Here are some statistics: According to a study done by ValuePenguin, 49 percent of deadly motorcycle accidents in the 2016 to 2020 period occurred from June to September, with the highest percentage in July. 49 percent of deadly motorcycle accidents in the 2016 to 2020 period occurred over the weekend, versus 51 percent on weekdays.

According to a news report in early April, a motorcyclist was killed in a Maryland crash involving a tractor-trailer. The crash occurred in Prince George’s County, Maryland on Route 301. The motorcyclist was heading northbound on Route 301, and the tractor-trailer attempted to make a U-turn from the southbound lanes into the northbound lanes on Route 301 when the motorcyclist crashed into the side of the semi-truck. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead on the scene. The Maryland State Police encouraged motorists to be mindful of the increased number of motorcycles on the road with warmer weather and as summer approaches.

How Common Is Speeding the Cause of a Motorcycle Accident?

Speeding is a known factor in fatal motorcycle crashes. In 2020, 5,579 motorcyclists died according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. To ensure safe road sharing, motorcyclists should take some precautions, which include ensuring that you are properly licensed (in Maryland, drivers need a Class M license), checking the motorcycle’s tire pressure and tread depth, hand and foot brakes, headlights and signal indicators, and fluid levels before riding, wearing a properly fitted helmet that meets the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Vehicle, ensuring arms and legs are completely covered while riding, obeying traffic signals and laws, avoiding distracted driving and being under the influence of any alcohol or drugs.

A recent news report revealed the aftermath of a fatal motorcycle accident in Charles County, Maryland. The motorcyclist was found dead on the scene. A truck was traveling eastbound while the motorcyclist was traveling westbound. For reasons unknown, the truck crossed the double yellow center line and struck the motorcycle. When personnel arrived on the scene, they found the motorcyclist pinned under the vehicle and unresponsive. Firefighters extricated the trapped motorcyclist, EMS requested a MEDEVAC due to serious injuries sustained by the motorcyclist, but then began CPR on the patient. The patient was unfortunately reported dead on the scene. The cause of the accident is still being investigated.

Are Motorcycle Accidents More Common than Car Accidents?

According to the National Safety Council, motorcyclists make up only 3 percent of all registered vehicles, but motorcyclists account for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities. The National Safety Council also reports that over the last 10 years, deaths have increased 19 percent. Furthermore, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOTMVA), in Maryland alone, each year an average of 73 motorcycle riders and passengers are killed in traffic crashes, and nearly 1,046 riders and passengers are injured each year. Motorcyclists are injured in approximately 72 percent of crashes. According to the MDOTMVA’s Motorcycle Program Area Brief, “crashes that involved motorcyclists resulted in injury or death at more than twice the rate of all injury or death related crashes occurring across the State.” Most motorcycle crashes occurred in highly populated regions such as Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and Baltimore City.

Statistics also show trends in age ranges and time of day for crashes. Motorcyclists between the ages of 21-34 were the most represented in motor-cycle involved crashes in Maryland, and the study found that weekends and mid-days were the most dangerous times for motorcyclists, according to the MDOTMVA. These statistics can be insightful in helping motorists understand what factors may contribute more to motorcycle-involved crashes and for thinking of ways to protect themselves.

Motorcycles can be a fast and convenient way of travel that entices both motorcyclists and their passengers. Motorcycles may entice riders because they allow for quick maneuvers and in some ways, can feel freeing. In some instances, however, motorcycles can put not only the driver in danger but also the passenger as well. In these instances, as a passenger of a motorcycle, you may be wondering what to do if you are involved in a severe motorcycle accident. In some cases, a motorcycle accident may be a single accident only involving one motorcycle and obstructing objects, and in other cases, it may involve other vehicles or pedestrians.

Motorcyclists share the road with various other vehicles, pedestrians, and sometimes even animals who may find themselves in the middle of the road at inopportune times. According to a recent news report, one person passed away in Ohio after a motorcycle crash accident involving a dog. Two people were riding on a motorcycle when it struck a dog that ran out into the roadway. A 22-year-old passenger was thrown from the motorcycle before it veered off the road and hit a guardrail. The passenger was unfortunately pronounced dead at the scene. The motorcycle driver was taken to a nearby medical center with serious injuries. Neither individuals were wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Can a Passenger Injured in a Motorcycle Accident Sue the Driver?

Yes, If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident as a passenger, there may be hundreds of questions that roam through your head as you try to figure out what next steps to take post-accident. Passengers who are victims of motorcycle accidents may be interested in filing a personal injury claim in order to recover monetary damages. After a motorcycle accident, injured passengers should seek medical attention as soon as possible, and keep documentation of any medical bills and reports. If there are no immediate emergency needs, the passenger can ensure that all parties are safely away from traffic or danger, and take photos or videos of the accident scene. Notifying the police can also be a way to receive a police report of the accident. If there are any witnesses, documenting their names and contact information can also be important. These are just a few steps that you may want to take after an accident. Connect with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you navigate your claims.

When motorcycle accidents occur, they can be scary and devasting for a multitude of reasons. When motorcycle accidents occur and involve large vehicles, such as trucks or vehicles transporting groups, it can lead to serious harm. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2020, 5,579 motorcyclists died in motor vehicle accidents, most of which were preventable.

According to a recent news report, a 28-year-old motorcyclist in Florida is dead and two children were injured after a crash involving a school bus. The motorcyclist was traveling west, while a school bus was stopped facing south on the highway. The school bus entered the intersection and into the path of the motorcycle, and the motorcycle collided with the left of the school bus. At the time, there were five children on the bus.

What Is the Best Way for Motorcyslits to Stay Safe?

In addition to being properly licensed and using Department of Transportation-compliant motorcycle helmets, there are additional factors that can help keep motorcyclists safe. This includes checking your motorcycle to ensure that the motorcycle will be safe to drive, including checking the tire pressure, hand and foot brakes, headlights and signals, and fluid levels. Checking for signs of oil or gas leaks can also be equally as important. While not all accidents can be prevented, these are some of the few steps that motorcyclists can take to help keep them safe. For other motorists, they must remain aware and mindful of the fact that they are sharing the road with motorcyclists. This includes checking blind spots properly, keep a good distance between your vehicle and the motorcyclist, and remaining generally aware of where motorcyclists are in relation to your vehicle.

Driving motorcycles is significantly more dangerous than driving cars. The smaller profile of motorcycles leaves them vulnerable to car blind spots, and the open nature of motorcycles can throw drivers from the vehicle upon impact during a crash. Because motorcycle riders are not protected by their vehicle like the occupants of a car, approximately 72 percent of motorcyclists are injured when they crash. Unfortunately, Maryland drivers are all too familiar with the dangers of motorcycle driving. Maryland averages 73 motorcycle rider and passenger deaths per year, and on average, an additional 1,046 riders or drivers are injured each year. Additionally, this issue is not getting better in Maryland, with the state seeing an increase in motorcycle crashes from 2019 to 2020. A recent news article discussed a fatal motorcycle crash.

According to the news article about a recent fatal motorcycle crash, the accident occurred in the evening around 5:30 p.m. on Monday, December 14, when a motorcycle going at the intersection of Six Forks Road and Mt. Vernon Church Road was struck by a Nissan minivan. The driver of the minivan tried to make a left turn and hit the motorcycle. Unfortunately, the motorcyclists died at the scene. The motorcycle driver was wearing a helmet and reflective clothing. The driver of the minivan was taken into custody by law enforcement and charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and failure to yield the right of way.

How Do Courts Determine Liability in Left Turn Accident Cases?

Under Maryland Transportation Code §21-601, drivers who make left turns must approach the intersection in the extreme left lane to traffic moving in the same direction. When the driver leaves the intersection, he or she must follow the flow of traffic. The driver must abide by traffic lights at an intersection. If the driver turns left on red and hits another driver, he or she is clearly liable for the crash. Left turns at a red light are only legal in certain situations, such as when the driver is turning left from a one-way street to another. Drivers who turn left at an intersection must also yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction as laid out by Maryland Transportation Code §21-402. Cases like this can be tricky, and an attorney with experience navigating automobile accidents can be a great help when addressing such a claim.

Most motorcycles can both accelerate and brake faster than other vehicles on the road. This responsiveness to user control is what attracts many bikers to motorcycles as a means of transportation and recreation. Although most bikes are mechanically capable of impressive stopping distances, the attention, and ability of the motorcycle driver limit the mechanical advantages of a motorcycle. A motorcyclist and his passenger were both killed late last month after the motorcyclist was unable to stop in time and rear-ended another driver.

According to a local news report discussing the tragic crash, a Florida motorcyclist was approaching another vehicle from behind and lost control of the bike while attempting to brake. The motorcycle flipped on its side and crashed into the leading vehicle. Both the driver and passenger of the motorcycle were killed in the crash. The article does not mention whether the rider and passenger were wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

Can Injured Motorcycle Passengers Sue a Negligent Motorcyclist?

Motorcyclists in Maryland owe a duty of care to others on the road, as well as to any passengers that are riding on the motorcycle. In the event of a Maryland motorcycle crash that injures or kills a passenger on the bike, the passenger or their representatives may be entitled to financial compensation from several parties. If the motorcycle driver was found to have negligently operated their vehicle before a crash, an injured passenger might be able to seek damages from the driver or their insurance company by pursuing a Maryland personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. If another vehicle or dangerous condition is found to have caused the crash, an injured passenger may seek damages from the other responsible parties.

Blind spots are areas that drivers cannot see by simply using a mirror. Drivers should be especially mindful of their blind spots because of the possibility of failing to detect bicyclists or other vehicles. It is important to note that because vehicles vary in shape and size, a vehicle’s design can create impact how large a blind spot is. In order to prevent blind spot accidents, drivers should conduct a head-check every time before making any turns or changing lanes.

According to a recent news report from Delaware, a Honda Civic was traveling southbound in the left lane behind another vehicle. A bicyclist entered the left southbound lane, attempting to cross from east to west. The bicyclist entered the path of one of the vehicles, causing the vehicle to suddenly stop. As a result, the Honda changed lanes into the right travel lane. The bicyclist was crossing the right travel lane, and the front of the Honda struck the right side of the bicycle and ejected the bicyclist. The bicyclist was flown to a local hospital in critical condition and later succumbed to the injuries. The operator of the Honda was not injured. The crash is still under investigation.

In addition to drivers being mindful of their own blind spots and being sure to conduct a head-check, drivers should be mindful of the blind spots that certain vehicles have and proceed with caution. For example, large vehicles such as trucks may have large blind spots where they are unable to see objects, including bicyclists. With that in mind, bicyclists can be mindful of staying away from the space in front of a truck and can be mindful of the left-hand blind spot.

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