Left hand turns account for a significant number of traffic accidents,
including motorcycle accidents. In fact, upwards of 36% of all
motorcycle accidents are caused by these types of accident. Our experienced
Poughkeepsie motorcycle accident attorneys know that this cause of motorcycle crash is commonly due to the fact that
motorists fail to be on the lookout for motorcycles.
Additionally, even if the biker is seen, the motorcycle has a slim profile
and it is harder to gage their distance and speed, making turning left
in front of the motorcycle all the more enticing. Of course, when one
drives too fast, or maneuvers too quickly, a crash can easily ensue; such
as when the oncoming motorcycle is coming around a bend, or when traveling
uphill towards the turning motorist.
motorcycle accident might not always involve a collision between the biker and the turning
motorist. The motorcyclist might have time to avert a collision, but not
without sliding into a skid and being dismounted from the bike. Such accidents
can lead to road rash, lacerations, fractures, and the like. Additionally,
the motorcyclist can easily end up colliding with a curb, tree, barrier, etc.
Being that these types of accidents are a common occurrence, New York has
enacted laws addressing the issue. Specifically,
section 1141 of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law states, “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within
an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield
the right of way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction
which is within the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate
Understandably, one can interpret this statute as being a bit vague, asking,
what is “so close” or what is an “immediate hazard”.
But these types of statutes rarely, if ever, specifically set out all
the circumstances in which the law will apply. Room must be left to catch
all of the behavior that the law is intended to prevent.
The basic standard of reasonable care also aids the statute. This standard
requires all motorists to use reasonable care as would any other prudent
driver under similar circumstances so that preventable and foreseeable
harm is not caused. Basically, if another driver in a similar situation
would not have turned left in front of the motorcycle, there may be a
violation ofsection 1141 and a valid claim of negligence.
Are you interested in learning more about the common causes of motorcycle
accidents and how they relate to all motorists? Find out more in
our latest article post available by clicking here. Learn more about how rear-end collisions can be catastrophic of a motorists by
reading our blog post here.
Our personal injury attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious car accidents, particularly
throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and
Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.