Left-hand turns might seem like routine maneuvers for New Jersey drivers. However, they pose significant dangers and can be deadly for motorcyclists.
Increased awareness and adherence to road safety principles can go a long way in terms of preventing left-hand-turn accidents and saving lives.
Drivers making left-hand turns have limited visibility, and this is a frequent factor in crashes. When a motorist initiates a left turn at an intersection, his or her focus is often on oncoming traffic from the opposite direction. This may result in a driver failing to notice motorcyclists approaching from the side, especially if the motorcyclists are hidden behind other vehicles or obstructed by blind spots.
Misjudgment of speed
Motorcycles are smaller and more agile than cars, which can lead to drivers inaccurately gauging their speed. When a driver underestimates the speed of an approaching motorcyclist, he or she may initiate a left turn prematurely, putting the rider in a dangerous situation.
Reduced reaction time
Left-hand turns require quick decision-making and precise timing. Motorcyclists, however, have limited protection in the event of a collision. The reduced reaction time available for both the driver making the left turn and the motorcyclist increases the chances of a collision, which may lead to severe injuries or fatalities for the rider.
Lack of motorcycle awareness
Many drivers are not sufficiently aware of motorcycles on the road. This lack of awareness can lead to drivers failing to check for motorcyclists before initiating a left turn.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that left-hand turns cause 42% of all motorcycle fatalities. Both drivers and motorcyclists must heighten their awareness of the dangers associated with left-hand turns to reduce the number of road deaths resulting from them.