Two different crashes in Desert Hot Springs in little more than a week recently claimed the lives of two area motorcyclists. The occupants of the other vehicles were not injured. Police have not yet released a certain cause for either crash, but it appears from reports that at least one may have been due to a common oversight by car and truck drivers that puts bikers at risk.
Two Collisions, Two Deaths
The first crash happened around 2:30 in the afternoon on December 28 on Route 62 at Mission Creek Road. The motorcyclist, a Palm Desert resident, survived the initial crash but died several hours later from his injuries. No specific details have been made available, but it appears that drugs and alcohol were probably not involved. The crash was serious enough that a three-mile stretch of southbound Route 62 (Twentynine Palms Highway) was closed for more than eight hours.
On Friday morning, January 5, a second fatal crash took place on the other side of the city, near the intersection of Dillon and Mountain View. In that incident, a local man was thrown from his motorcycle when it collided with a pickup pulling a trailer. The victim died at the scene.
Left Turn Danger Highest for Motorcycles
In the second crash, the driver of the pickup is reported to have taken a left turn across the main road from an unpaved side road, putting his vehicle into the path of the oncoming biker. While the maneuver may sound relatively innocuous, this specific type of crash—caused when a vehicle takes a left turn across the path of a motorcycle—is both very common and very dangerous.
Intersection crashes account for close to 40 percent of all crashes in the United States, and potentially more than one-fourth of all crash fatalities. And in one analysis, crashes while turning left outnumbered those while turning right by more than eighteen to one. Several reasons are cited, but high on the list are falsely assuming that another driver will see you and react appropriately and simply misjudging the speed of an oncoming vehicle.
This is no surprise to bikers: It’s been recognized since the early 1980s that the most frequent multi-vehicle crash configuration for a motorcycle is a car taking a left turn across its path. The most recent data support that. In 2015, 41 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes involving another vehicle happened when the other vehicle turned left into a motorcycle.
Riverside, California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
At Kohan & Bablove, LLP, our team of experienced attorneys understands all aspects of California automobile accident law. When you’ve been in a crash, whether as a driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian; whether in a car, a truck, a bus, or on a motorcycle; give us a call. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation in our Orange or Riverside County offices. You can reach us today at 1-844-404-2400 or contact us online through the form below at your convenience to learn more about how we can help.