Phil Franckel Dec 2015

Why I didn’t see a motorcycle when making a left turn!

My worst nightmare could’ve become a reality. I was always careful to watch for motorcycles on the road ever since I got my license. As an attorney representing motorcyclists, I certainly don’t want to injure a motorcyclist.
Only two blocks from my house, I was stopped at a T intersection waiting to make a left turn. Because it is a T intersection, I only had to worry about traffic coming from my left and traffic coming from my right. Obviously, there could be no traffic coming in the opposite direction which made it easier to make the turn.
I was looking to my left, waiting for the traffic to clear. Once the traffic was clear, I looked again to my right and it appeared to be clear of traffic. I just barely started to go, moving probably only two feet forward, when I suddenly saw a motorcycle and immediately braked.
I was never really close to hitting the motorcyclist. However, had I not stopped I would have hit the motorcycle. The drivers in most of the cases we have, never saw the motorcycle until it was too late to stop.
I am fairly knowledgeable about why drivers don’t see motorcycles but for the first time, I actually experienced what we try to prove in most motorcycle accident cases. That the driver never saw the motorcycle and why.
In my situation, it was exactly what I have previously written about. Because the motorcycle is smaller than a car, it was less noticeable. Because the motorcycle and rider were a mix of colors, they disappeared into the background so I didn’t see the motorcycle and rider until they were almost upon me.
It was a fast bike and was probably going 25-30 mph without accelerating so it did not make any noise. If it was a Harley, I probably would have heard it. As a driver, I like loud motorcycles although I am aware of the safety arguments against loud motorcycles.
The fact that motorcycles appear to be further away than they appear was not a factor in my situation. I simply did not see the motorcycle at all until it was approximately 50-75 feet away.
If I continued forward and the motorcyclist was traveling at 35 mph, the motorcycle would have struck my car. At 30 mph, the motorcyclist might have been able to avoid the accident. Including reaction and braking time, the motorcyclist would have needed 66.15 feet without ABS or 61.90 feet with ABS to stop the motorcycle.
Fortunately, for the motorcyclist, I am always careful to watch for motorcycles and I had sufficient time to stop my car. But this shows how easy it is for other drivers who aren’t so careful to look for motorcycles.
Since most drivers don’t ride and aren’t lawyers representing motorcyclists, you’ll have to continue assuming that drivers won’t see you, at least until every car has a collision avoidance system to prevent accidents with motorcycles.
If you’re involved in an accident, call us immediately for a free consultation.
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Philip L. Frankel Esq. and Rob Plevy, Esq. are attorneys with FRANCKEL & PLEVY, LLP representing people hurt in motorcycle and other accidents. Disclaimer: This article should be considered advertising to represent people HURT in an accident; is for informational purposes and should not be relied upon because it could contain errors; the correct information may be different for your set of facts even though they seem similar; and is not legal advice which should only be obtained by contacting Phil Franckel, Esq. or Rob Plevy, Esq. for a free consultation to discuss your specific circumstances at 1-800-HURT-911.
See our web sites, and If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident, speak directly to Phil Franckel 24/7 at 1-800-HURT-911 — 1-800-487-8911.

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