Indiana biker killed by left turning teen driver
GRIFFITH, INDIANA (BIKER DAD)— A 22-year-old biker died at a Chicago hospital after a teen driver turned left in front of him. The biker was flown from Griffith, Indiana to the Chicago hospital after the crash.
Police say the 18-year-old driver made a left turn in front of the biker. According to local reports, “the Lake County Sheriff’s Department says it is believed the driver of a passenger car was traveling eastbound on East Main Street, attempting to turn north on Johnson Road when the car was struck by a motorcycle traveling westbound. The person riding the motorcycle was transported by helicopter to the University of Chicago, but was declared deceased upon arrival at the hospital.”
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The report says the cause of the crash is still under investigation, although it seems pretty clear by the description what happened.
The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that only 6% of crossing-path crashes involve right turns, compared to 53% of left turns. The number of accidents has virtually doubled! To put it another way, turning left at an intersection is MORE DANGEROUS than turning right at the same intersection. The most obvious benefit is that right-turning drivers are spared from having to cross any oncoming lanes of traffic. Therefore, when making a left turn, motorcycle drivers must be alert not just to approaching traffic in the opposing lane but also to their left to make sure no one is attempting to pass them on the left in their own lane.
Drivers frequently admit after an accident that they were honest when they said, “I didn’t even notice the motorbike when I turned in front of it.” The “left turn problem” has a significant impact on depth perception. A typical commuter may encounter several thousand cars in a day, but other drivers don’t perceive motorcycles the same way they see other cars and trucks. They see how many motorcycles. One? Two? Ten? Whatever number it is, it’s a very small part of the daily driving experience. In addition, due to their size, motorcycles tend to blend in to their surroundings, and it is much harder to see and judge their speed when turning in front of them.