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Yielding to motorcyclists when making left-hand turns

We’ve long stated that drivers need to pay better attention to motorcyclists on the road. Too often drivers either do not watch for motorcyclists, or they do not yield the right of way.

Yielding the right-of-way is particularly important when it comes to left-hand turns. Unless there is a traffic signal at the intersection, it’s appropriate for drivers to approach every left-hand turn in the same manner. Drivers need to stay over to the left and yield the right of way to oncoming traffic.

A large number of motorcycle accidents occur when the driver of a car is making a left-hand turn while the motorcycle rider is making a right-hand turn. The driver needs to wait for the motorcyclist to complete the turn. Even when there is an additional lane, the car runs the risk of swerving too wide while the motorcycle rider is turning – thus possibly running into the motorcycle.

The motorcyclist is protected by Illinois statute 625 ILCS 5/11-902 regarding these circumstances. This statute instructs drivers on the method in conducting left-hand turns and providing the right of way. And besides the fact that this law provides the motorcycle rider the right of way, collisions of cars with motorcycles are bound to leave riders severely injured.

Motorcyclists are entitled to the same rights as every other vehicle on the road. Accidents too often occur because drivers ignore the rules of the road when it comes to sharing the roads with motorcycle riders. Because drivers fail to abide by the rules and lookout for motorcycle riders, personal injury attorneys continually need to bring lawsuits on the injured motorcycle riders’ behalf.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Why a Driver Must Yield to a Motorcycle While Making a Left Turn,” Jonathan Rosenfeld, March 31, 2015

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