One of the most common types of motorcycle accident in Seattle occurs when a car does not see an approaching biker and turns left in front of the vehicle.

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Left Turns Can Be Deadly For Motorcyclists

Just this week, a motorcycle rider was traveling down 35th Avenue South in West Seattle when a car turned left in front of his bike. The man slammed into the broad side of the vehicle and suffered a traumatic brain injury. After the accident, he died of his head injury at Harborview Medical Center.

While the above motorcycle accident seems like a simple, tragic crash, it is actually one of the most common – and one of the most preventable – types of motorcycle crashes that occur in Washington State. Although turning left into an oncoming motorcycle seems like nothing more than a mistake that could happen to anyone, in truth it reveals a common problem for motorcycles on the road today: drivers are not as aware of motorcyclists as they need to be.

Very simply, motorcycles are more difficult to see than larger cars, pickup trucks, SUVs, and big rigs. A cursory glance by a driver making a left turn may not catch the smaller, lower vehicle approaching in the other direction. Moments later, the car has turned in front of an oncoming vehicle – and usually the biker receives the brunt of the physical damage.

How can drivers prevent left turn motorcycle accidents?

•    Be aware that motorcycles are on the road and that they are more difficult to see.
•    Look twice before turning, especially if you are turning left and especially if you are on a busy street.
•    Take precautions during times of low visibility, such as dawn, dusk, rainstorms, or fog.
•    Never assume an oncoming vehicle is obeying the speed limit.

How can motorcycle riders prevent left turn motorcycle accidents?

•    Keep your headlight on at all times, even during the day.
•    Buy a bike in a bright, easy-to-see color, such as yellow.
•    Always obey the speed limit.
•    Be aware that drivers turning left in front of you may not see you approaching and be prepared to brake or avoid the accident.