Left-Turn Collisions: A Leading Cause of Motorcycle Crashes in Ohio

Left-turn collisions are a major safety concern for motorcyclists in Ohio. This type of crash, where a vehicle turns left and collides with an oncoming motorcycle, accounts for a significant portion of all motorcycle-related injuries and fatalities in the state each year. Understanding why these crashes occur and what can be done to prevent them is critical to improving motorcyclist safety on Ohio’s roads.

Common Causes of Left-Turn Motorcycle Crashes

There are several reasons why left-turn crashes occur frequently between motorcycles and passenger vehicles in Ohio:

Driver Negligence

Many left-turn collisions are caused by drivers who simply fail to notice an oncoming motorcyclist and turn in front of them. Factors like distraction, impairment, or reckless driving may contribute to these negligent left turns. Drivers making unsafe turns are one of the top hazards to motorcyclists.

Motorcycle Size

The small profile of motorcycles can make them harder to notice for drivers. A bike may look farther away or be hidden behind a larger vehicle in an adjacent lane. The motorcycle’s speed may also be misjudged. This failure to accurately gauge distance and speed can lead to turning drivers miscalculating whether they have enough time and space to turn safely.


Most left-turn crashes between motorcycles and cars take place at intersections. The complexities of navigating intersections, judging gaps in oncoming traffic, and monitoring multiple directions increase the odds of an unsafe turn. Uncontrolled intersections are a particular concern.

Motorcyclist Speed

While driver negligence is usually the main factor, excessive motorcyclist speed can also contribute to some left-turn collisions. Approaching intersections too quickly reduces a rider’s options to avoid a crash. However, studies show the major cause is usually still an unsafe turn by the other driver.

Severe Injuries and Fatalities

Due to the significant size disparity between a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle, left-turn collisions often result in extremely serious rider injuries. Even relatively minor crashes can eject a motorcyclist from their bike, potentially leading to:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Paralysis
  • Amputated or crushed limbs
  • Internal organ damage

In severe collisions with larger vehicles like trucks or SUVs, left-turn crashes may be fatal for motorcyclists.

Prevention of Left-Turn Motorcycle Crashes

While motorcyclists should remain alert, follow traffic laws, and always wear proper safety gear, the primary responsibility for avoiding left-turn collisions falls on other drivers. Some ways to help prevent these dangerous crashes include:

  • Education campaigns to raise driver awareness of motorcycles
  • Strict enforcement of laws prohibiting negligent driving
  • Improved motorcycle visibility with high-contrast colors and reflective strips
  • Added caution when turning across oncoming lanes
  • Installation of left-turn signals and dedicated turn lanes at intersections
  • Motorist scanning techniques to check all lanes before turning
  • Increasing the visibility of traffic lights and signals for turning drivers
  • Widening lanes and adding medians to provide more separation from oncoming traffic
  • Improving line-of-sight obstructions such as vegetation or signs near intersections
  • Installing advanced warning signs or rumble strips to signal upcoming turns
  • Using “No Turn on Red” restrictions where appropriate to reduce unsafe turns

Ultimately, sharing the road safely with motorcyclists requires attentive driving from everyone. Drivers need to actively look for motorcycles, assess speed and distance accurately, and ensure the way is completely clear before attempting a left turn.

Legal Recourse for Injured Riders

Motorcyclists injured by a negligent driver’s improper left turn may have significant legal claims for compensation. An experienced Ohio motorcycle accident attorney can help injured riders and families of riders killed in left-turn crashes to:

  • Prove the other driver’s fault and negligence
  • Obtain compensation for economic losses like medical bills or lost income
  • Recover damages for pain and suffering resulting from the crash
  • Hold negligent parties fully accountable through aggressive litigation and trial advocacy

Pursuing fair compensation is an important step in obtaining justice and financial recovery after a devastating left-turn motorcycle collision.

Long-Term Impacts of Motorcycle Left-Turn Accidents

In addition to the immediate injuries sustained, left-turn motorcycle crashes can have profound long-term physical, emotional, and financial impacts on seriously injured riders. Some potential ongoing consequences include:

  • Permanent disabilities such as limb amputations, paralysis, or traumatic brain damage
  • Chronic pain and loss of mobility requiring extensive treatment
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder and emotional trauma
  • Inability to return to work resulting in career disruption and lost income
  • Bankruptcy due to overwhelming medical costs and other crash expenses
  • Strain on familial relationships and need for in-home caregiving
  • Overall reduced quality of life and independence

Navigating these long-term challenges requires significant help and support. An experienced lawyer can make sure injured motorcyclists get the maximum compensation to cover long-term care needs.

Special Legal Considerations for Left-Turn Crashes

Left-turn motorcycle collisions have some unique legal considerations compared to other accident cases. An attorney may need to address issues like:

  • Identifying all liable parties – such as both the turning driver and businesses responsible for unsafe intersections
  • Proving visibility and line of sight for the drivers involved
  • Analyzing sight distances and traffic controls at the crash site
  • Reconstructing the speeds and paths of both vehicles leading up to impact
  • Determining if either vehicle was speeding or violating traffic laws
  • Obtaining crash data and statistics to demonstrate the intersection’s danger
  • Interviewing witnesses to confirm the vehicles’ movements and traffic conditions
  • Consulting with traffic engineering and reconstruction experts

An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will know how to build the strongest case by gathering the right evidence and testimony.

Contact a Skilled Motorcycle Accident Law Firm Today

Left-turning vehicles remain a top hazard to Ohio motorcyclists. Crashes involving unsafe left turns can easily turn deadly for riders. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle collision caused by a driver’s negligent turn, contact our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys right away.

With 32 offices located across 19 states, including Ohio, South Carolina, and Utah, we will protect your rights and work toward maximizing your compensation for your injuries and losses.

Reach out today on (888) 477-0597 to schedule a free consultation. We’re ready and waiting to take your call.