A motorcycle accident occurred recently on U.S. 278 in South Carolina. Island Packet reported on the details of the collision, which also involved a passenger car. A Toyota four-door was traveling in an eastbound direction on U.S. 278 at the time when the accident happened. The driver of the Toyota then attempted to a make a left turn onto Rose Hill Way.
Unfortunately, as the driver of the Toyota was making her left turn, she was hit in the side of the vehicle by a motorcycle being driven by a 32-year-old man who was heading in a westward direction. The incident occurred at 5:15 p.m. The motorcycle rider was ejected from his bike as a result of the impact with the Toyota. When he was thrown from his bike, he hit a 2008 school bus stopped at a light on Rose Hill Way. The motorcycle rider was pronounced dead.
The circumstances surrounding this accident are tragic, but they are also extremely common. Motorcycle accidents cause $12 billion in losses annually, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most common circumstances in which these accidents happen, according to a state Motor Vehicle Administration are the same as the circumstances of this recent crash: a driver makes a left turn and a motorcyclist in the intersection collides with the car.
There are several reasons why motorcyclists so often become involved in accidents at intersections when drivers are making left turns. One of the biggest problems is drivers often don't see motorcycle riders, so drivers may enter intersections as motorcyclists are approaching because drivers don't notice them. Drivers are used to looking at larger vehicles on the road, like trucks and cars. This makes it easy to miss a small motorcycle and driver. The fact that drivers don't see motorcycle riders also helps to explain why another very common cause of crashes involves a motorcycle being along the side of car. The driver might not see the motorcycle and thus will change lanes, encroaching upon the motorcyclist's space.
Even if drivers do see motorcycle riders, this is no a guarantee that the motorcyclist will be safe from accidents when drivers are making left tuns at intersections. There is a correlation between size and the way that people see distance. Cars and trucks are bigger, so when a motorist sees a car or a truck coming, the motorist may feel like that car is bearing down on him or approaching very quickly. The driver is thus less likely to enter the intersection to make a turn.
When a small motorcycle is coming along though, that motorcycle doesn't seem as intimidating and the driver is going to be more likely to enter the intersection because the driver misjudged the motorcyclist's speed and distance. This significantly increases the chance that a motorcycle crash will occur.