Making a U-turn in a car or SUV involves dangers that do not necessarily exist when a driver makes a regular turn. For example, the driver making the U-turn may have to cross multiple lanes of traffic with other vehicles approaching the turning car from two different directions. Also, people on side streets may be trying to turn onto the road just when the other vehicle is in the middle of the U-turn, which can create an instant collision.
Because U-turns can be so dangerous, they are not permitted at certain intersections or in the middle of certain roads. But, just like every other traffic law, people don't always adhere to avoiding U-turns in prohibited areas.
A recent deadly motorcycle accident in New Orleans involved a car that was making a U-turn. A 35-year-old motorcyclist was riding on Chef Menteur Highway in the afternoon when he collided with a sedan that was getting ready to make a U-turn. The 55-year-old man driving the sedan was uninjured, but the motorcycle rider died from his injuries.
New Orleans police said that they had to pull the motorcyclist out from under the sedan. Their investigation is ongoing, and no details are yet available as to whether the driver of the sedan will face criminal charges.
Although the details of this accident are not yet completely known, the results of it follow a similar pattern of what often happens when a motorcycle and a larger vehicle collide. Just as in this case, the rider suffers serious injuries or death, but the driver in the other vehicle remains unharmed.
This accident occurred during daylight hours, so the driver in the sedan should have been able to see the motorcycle. However, even when visibility is clear, some drivers fail to see motorcyclists because they are not used to scanning the roads for anything other than cars and trucks.
Following a more complete investigation, the family members of the deceased rider will have a better idea of whether they should pursue any legal claims.
Source: The Times-Picayune, "Motorcyclist killed on Chef Menteur, NOPD says," Jonathan Bullington, May 11, 2015