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The danger of turning left in front of an oncoming motorcycle

Our lawyers represent Maryland motorcyclists who have been the victims of collisions with larger, enclosed motor vehicles because of the negligent or reckless driving practices of those operating cars, vans, SUVs or trucks for which motorcycles are no match. Earlier this month, an accident like this killed a 52-year-old Elkton motorcyclist when an SUV turned left in front of him on West Pulaski Highway in Cecil County, according to the Cecil Whig. 

The left-turn crash 

The motorcycle crash occurred at about 7:15pm on Wednesday, October 4, when the SUV turned into the biker’s oncoming path, causing the motorcycle to hit the front passenger area of the vehicle. The article cites police as saying that the cycle then “careened off the right side of the highway and struck a stop sign.” 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that in 2015, 42 percent of fatal accidents involving motorcycles and one other vehicle were similar to the Elkton crash — when the other vehicle turns in front of the motorcycle as it is “going straight, passing or overtaking the vehicle.” 

Seek legal advice 

It is important that a motorcyclist who is hurt in an accident with another vehicle speak to a lawyer as soon as possible so that legal counsel can undertake a private investigation of the incident. The sooner the investigation, the fresher the evidence will be, including the memories of police and other witnesses. 

In a left-turn accident, it will be important for the lawyer to uncover whether the turning driver was negligent or reckless or violated any traffic laws. For example, did the use of a cell phone distract the driver? Was he or she coming from a party at which alcohol was served? Did he or she misjudge the speed or distance of the motorcycle? Was the sun in the driver’s eyes? 

If the incident caused a motorcyclist fatality, the surviving family and loved ones should also seek immediate legal advice about a potential wrongful death lawsuit.



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