On January 21, 2016, a 48-year-old St. Petersburg man died following a Wednesday night motorcycle crash in Pinellas Park. According to Pinellas Park Police, a 2016 Chevy Malibu driven by a 70-year-old driver from St. Petersburg, was in the southbound west turn lane of 49th Street around 7:40 p.m. As the vehicle driver attempted to make a left turn to go east on 62nd Avenue, she crossed into the path of an oncoming motorcycle, according to local police. The two vehicles collided, injuring the motorcycle’s driver, age 48, and his wife, age 43. The motorcycle driver was taken to a local hospital in serious condition, but died overnight due to injuries, the police department said.
Florida Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Left-Turning Vehicles
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost half of two-vehicle fatal motorcycle crashes involve a vehicle turning left while the motorcycle was going straight, passing, or overtaking the vehicle. And according to another study, nearly seventy-five percent of motorcycle crashes involve motorcycles in a collision with another vehicle, which is usually a passenger car. Furthermore, in accidents involving more than one vehicle, the driver of the automobile violates the motorcycle’s right of way and causes the crash in about two-thirds of cases.
The most common scenario in motorcycle collisions occurs when a car makes a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle driving straight. When automobile drivers are not alert to motorcyclists on the road or fail to take necessary precautions to avoid them, their actions are negligent and they bear the responsibility for the resulting crash. Distracted drivers often do not become aware of the bike until it is too late to avoid a collision.
St. Petersburg Motorcycle Drivers Must Use Extra Caution
Because one of the most common causes of collisions between motorcycles or mopeds and cars is the car driver turning left in front of the motorcycle, it is necessary for the motorcycle driver to use extreme caution at all times:
- Slow down: Prepare to slow down and proceed with caution when approaching an intersection with a vehicle waiting to turn left.
- Defense: Take a defensive lane position. Move as far as possible to the right to give a little more room between the motorcycle and the vehicle.
- Plan ahead: Think about what to do if a car turns in front of the motorcycle. Is there a clear area to maneuver? How fast will the motorcycle stop on the road surface?
- Pay attention: Attention must be given not only to the left-turning vehicle, but on all of the surroundings. Always be careful of anything else in the intersection such as another vehicle or even a pedestrian.
Driver Liability After Turning Left in Front of Florida Motorcycles
In most motorcycle accidents caused when a driver turned left in front of the motorcycle, the driver who turned in front of the motorcycle is at fault. The most common scenario is a driver turning left in front of a motorcycle traveling straight in the oncoming traffic lane. The driver of the automobile fails to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic and, therefore, is at fault for the accident. Therefore, the driver of the vehicle is negligent and the driver should be held liable for any damages caused by this negligence.
There are exceptions to this rule. For instance, if the motorcycle was speeding, this could diminish the fault of the driver making the left-hand turn. Or if the motorcycle driver ran a red light, this could also eliminate the vehicle driver’s liability.
St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle collision caused by a vehicle that made a left turn into the path of the motorcycle, it is important to speak to an experience St Petersburg car accident lawyer as soon as possible. The attorneys at the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA are skilled motorcycle accident attorneys and they are ready to review and evaluate your case to determine what compensation you may be entitled to receive. Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today at 727-222-6922 to schedule your free legal case evaluation and consultation.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712