San Francisco’s congested city streets can be a treacherous place for every motorist, but especially for motorcyclists. Among the many different types of accidents that involve a motorcycle and another vehicle, a left-turn motorcycle is one of the most damaging.
Left-turn motorcycle accidents can be particularly dangerous and are unfortunately not uncommon in San Francisco. These accidents typically occur when a driver makes a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle, either because they fail to see the motorcycle or misjudge its speed. The motorcycle then collides with the turning vehicle, often resulting in serious injuries for the motorcycle rider. Because they’re so common in San Francisco, it’s important to understand the various causes of and what to do if you find yourself in one of these unfortunate accidents.
Dedicated Left-Turn Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in San Francisco
Motorcycle accidents involving left turns can be particularly dangerous and often result in significant injury or death for riders. If you or someone you know has suffered an injury in a left-turn motorcycle accident, it’s important to understand your options and to make sure your rights are protected.
Our team of experienced San Francisco motorcycle accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan has the knowledge and expertise necessary to handle these cases and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait – contact us today to set up a free consultation.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in San Francisco
Because motorcycle accidents are such an ongoing problem in San Francisco, there are significant resources dedicated to tracking and organizing data to increase public awareness of the issue.
One of the main sources of this data comes from the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). According to SWITRS data from the last three years, there were:
- 69 motorcycle accidents that resulted in injury or death in 2019.
- 66 motorcycle accidents that resulted in injury or death in 2020.
- 82 motorcycle accidents that resulted in injury or death in 2021.
Additionally, data from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency found that motorcycle riders represent about:
- 2% of all road users in the city, but they account for about 20% of all severe and fatal injuries.
These statistics highlight the importance of motorcycle safety in our city. Not only should both motorcycle riders and drivers of other vehicles be aware of the risks of accidents, but they should also take steps to reduce their likelihood.
Common Causes of Left-Turn Accidents in San Francisco
When you consider how most left-turn accidents happen, it’s easy to see the more common causes of them. While many of these causes are similar to other accidents between a motorcyclist and the driver of another vehicle, a left-turn accident is nonetheless dangerous. Moreover, they can be extremely frustrating, since they are often the fault of a driver who either isn’t paying attention or isn’t following the rules of the road. Some of the most common causes of left-turn motorcycle accidents in San Francisco include:
- Failure to Yield – One of the most common causes of left turn accidents is when a driver fails to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic. This can happen if the driver misjudges the speed or distance of an approaching motorcycle or if they are distracted while making the turn.
- Misjudging Distance – Another common cause of left turn accidents is when a driver misjudges the distance between their vehicle and an oncoming motorcycle. This can result in a collision when the driver turns in front of the motorcycle, giving the rider little or no time to react.
- Distracted Driving – Distracted driving is a major cause of all types of accidents, including left-turn accidents. When a driver is distracted by their phone, music, or other distractions, they may not be paying attention to the road or other vehicles, including motorcycles.
- Driving Under the Influence – Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is another common cause of left turn accidents. Impaired drivers may have slower reaction times or impaired judgment, making them more likely to cause an accident.
- Speeding – Speeding is a factor in many left-turn accidents. When a driver is going too fast, they may not have enough time to react to oncoming traffic, increasing the risk of a collision.
- Poor Visibility – Poor visibility, such as fog, rain, or glare from the sun, can also be a factor in left-turn accidents. When visibility is poor, it may be difficult for drivers to see oncoming traffic, increasing the risk of a collision.
Left turn accidents can have serious consequences, especially for motorcycle riders who are more vulnerable to injury. Not only that, but the injuries are similar to other motorcycle accidents in that the injuries are often quite serious for the motorcycle rider.
What Are Some of the Typical Left-Turn Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
One of the most unfortunate outcomes of a left-turn motorcycle accident in San Francisco is injuries. The reality is that motorcyclists are at a disadvantage in a collision with another vehicle because of the lack of protection that a motorcycle provides the rider. This is usually a huge contributing factor to injuries that result, which can include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
- Road rash
- Internal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Psychological injuries
Given the risks of riding a motorcycle, it is important for riders to take precautions to reduce their risk of injury. This includes wearing a helmet, and protective gear, and obeying traffic laws. However, even with these precautions, accidents can still occur.
Can San Francisco Left-Turn Motorcycle Accidents Be Prevented?
Left-turn motorcycle accidents can be especially dangerous for you as a rider, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of being involved in one. While accidents can never be totally prevented, taking these steps can significantly reduce the risk of being in a left-turn accident:
- Wear Protective Gear – Wearing appropriate protective gear, including a helmet, gloves, and protective clothing, can help reduce the severity of injuries in the event of an accident.
- Be Visible – One of the main reasons left-turn motorcycle accidents occur is that other drivers do not see the motorcycle. To reduce this risk, wear brightly colored clothing and make sure your motorcycle’s lights are always on. Additionally, avoid riding in a driver’s blind spot.
- Watch for Left-Turning Vehicles – When approaching an intersection, pay close attention to oncoming traffic and be on the lookout for drivers who may be turning left. Look for signals that the driver is planning to turn, such as a turning signal, brake lights, or the driver’s head turning to look for oncoming traffic.
- Slow Down – One of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of a left-turn (or any) motorcycle accident is to slow down. By reducing your speed, you can give yourself more time to react to unexpected situations and increase your visibility to other drivers.
Damages In a San Francisco Left-Turn Motorcycle Accident
In a left-turn motorcycle accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver, you will be able to recover damages in a claim. These damages usually include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Disability or disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Like any claim, the above damages are general. What you may be able to specifically recover in a claim will depend on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of your damages and injuries. In order to make sure that you are able to recover the full amount of benefits and support available to you, consider working with our team of experienced San Francisco motorcycle accident lawyers.
Experienced San Francisco Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Will Be There For You
Being in a left-turn motorcycle accident can totally upend your life. Whether it be an injury, damage to your property, or simply losing the enjoyment of riding your motorcycle in San Francisco, the ramifications that come with a motorcycle accident can last well after the actual collision. At The Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan, we know how difficult this process can be for you and your family. We are proud to provide our clients with experience and support in this difficult time.If you or a loved one have been injured in a left-turn motorcycle accident, don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.