A Sheriff’s Deputy is Among the Latest Victims of Severe or Fatal Motorcycle Accidents Involving Drivers Turning Left

A Sheriff’s Deputy is Among the Latest Victims of Severe or Fatal Motorcycle Accidents Involving Drivers Turning Left

The topic of motorcyclists injured by car/truck/SUV drivers turning left is something that this blog touches upon frequently. That's because it's a problem that occurs here in Santa Barbara County (and around the country) with such high frequency, and the consequences are so often catastrophic or fatal for the motorcyclists involved. If you were hurt (or a loved one was killed) in one of these kinds of crashes, the other driver may be legally liable and owe your family compensation for your losses. To find out more about your legal options, contact an experienced Santa Barbara motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss your situation.

A Sheriff's Deputy is Among the Latest Victims of Severe or Fatal Motorcycle Accidents Involving Drivers Turning Left

In the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's most recent edition of "Traffic Safety Facts," which it published in June 2023 and covered data from 2021, the publication reported that 2021 saw more than 3,000 fatal two-vehicle crashes. Of those, 43% involved the other vehicle turning left while the motorcyclist was proceeding straight ahead, passing, or overtaking the other vehicle.

Many times, these collisions occurred when the other driver turned left in front of an oncoming motorcyclist. Often, the other driver simply didn't maintain a proper lookout (as the law demands,) thus leading to the crash. 

Consider this recent incident involving a Ventura County sheriff's deputy in Moorpark. According to reports, the deputy was aboard his marked police motorcycle and responding to official police business when the crash occurred. As the deputy proceeded with his lights and siren on, another driver headed in the opposite direction turned in front of him and the two vehicles collided, according to investigators. The deputy suffered major injuries in the crash.

The Risks of Overtaking or Passing Another Vehicle

Overtaking or passing is also a dangerous scenario for motorcyclists. A motorcyclist traveling north of Camarillo died recently in one of these kinds of circumstances. The motorcyclist was behind a Toyota sedan on Highway 118 when the driver of the Toyota slowed to turn left into a private driveway. The motorcyclist tried to pass and, as he did, the Toyota driver began his left turn and the vehicles collided.

In many of these instances where the motorcyclist was passing or overtaking a driver who desired to turn left, the ensuing crash is the result of the car/truck/SUV driver's improper failure to yield the right of way.

Frequently, the other driver will tell the police and/or investigators that the motorcyclist was moving at a very high rate of speed or will claim that the motorcyclist "just whipped out" around them as they slowly and cautiously executed their left turn.

Ilya D. Frangos, Santa Barbara car accident Attorney
Ilya D. Frangos, Santa Barbara Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

That's why the right legal team is essential. Getting high-quality legal representation (and getting it as soon as possible) is crucial. Your skilled lawyer can guide a timely investigation and the securing of forensic evidence, eyewitness statements, and more that refute the other driver's narrative. Many people harbor unfair prejudices against motorcyclists, so having powerful proof that shows you were driving safely may make the difference between success or failure. 

The experienced Santa Barbara motorcycle accident attorneys at the law firm of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, LLP are here to help you achieve that successful result and, in the process, get a genuinely appropriate and just outcome. Contact us at 805-617-1365 or through our website to get a free case consultation today.

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