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Are left turns more dangerous for motorcyclists?

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2022 | Motorcycle Accidents

As motorcyclists know, they face a higher rate of risk and danger on any road they share with other drivers. However, certain actions can end up serving as a bigger risk to them than others.

Surprisingly, left turns are among these risks. One left turn could actually put a rider at greater risk of a crash than they may expect.

Increased risk of left-turn crashes

The NHTSA discusses the dangers that come along with motorcycles. Generally speaking, right turns feel less dangerous to drivers because they do not need to cross other flows of traffic. The statistics tend to back that up, too.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reported that right-hand turns result in 6 percent of crossing-path crashes. On the flip side, left-hand turns resulted in a staggering 53 percent of these same types of crashes. This means that a rider has a chance over ten times greater of getting hit when taking a left turn than a right one.

Not only do motorcyclists taking left turns have to worry about crossing opposing lanes of traffic. They also have to worry about people to their left in their own lane attempting to overtake them, which could lead to a crash.

Driver inattentiveness contributes to risk

Drivers also often turn right when motorcyclists turn left, either not checking their clearance before going or simply not seeing a motorcycle due to its size. This leads to a number of crossing-path crashes that afflict left turns.

Motorcyclists can take this into account when driving and take extra caution when approaching left turns, understanding that it holds a higher danger.