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Motorcycle season is upon us, left-turn collisions common

July 03, 2013

Tear away those canvas covers, change the oil, dust off the helmet and get ready to ride; it’s motorcycle season. Of course, hundreds of people across the state of New Jersey have already completed these tasks and are out on the roads already as summer gets into full swing.

As more and more cyclists hit the roads, everyone needs to be aware of their presence. When both parties are paying attention, the roads can remain safe. When someone fails in their safety responsibilities, the results can be devastating — most often to the cyclist less protected on the two-wheel vehicle.

Some of the most common motorcycle accidents involve left-hand maneuvers. This may be a left-turn into a parking lot, onto another road or even from the right lane to the left. The motorcycles do not take up a lot of space and can fall into a blind spot easily.

A bad blind spot is no excuse for failing to look everywhere before making a traffic maneuver. If a vehicle has multiple or large blind spots, the driver has to look a little harder, take a little more time.

An officer who was interviewed in a recent report on motorcycle accidents said that the blind-spot issue is only one more reason to avoid distractions from cellphones, food, makeup or anything else.

For cyclists themselves, there are some things that they can do to limit their exposure to injury and other dangerous drivers. Wearing the right gear can help minimize the injury in some accidents, whether it is leather that protects from serious road rash and burns or a helmet to protect from trauma to the head.

Giving themselves extra distance between the cars that they share the road with can give the riders a little extra time to react to a sudden maneuver possibly taken by a driver who wasn’t paying attention.

If injury does occur, the law provides a different kind of protection by providing a route to compensation to cover the costs of recovery.

Source: Times Union, “It’s ‘left-turn’ accident season for motorcyclists,” Matthew Hamilton, June 6, 2013

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