Recently, unsafe left-turns contributed to two deadly motorcycle accidents in the Los Angeles area. Both accidents occurred on the Pacific Coast Highway near Long Beach. All users of the road should remember that motorcyclists have the same rights as other drivers and that motorcyclists are often overlooked because of their smaller size.

Two weekends ago a motorcyclist fatally crashed with a pickup truck on the Pacific Coast Highway north of the busy Seventh Street intersection. The 33-year-old motorcyclist was traveling at a high rate of speed and slammed into a truck that was completing a left-hand turn. The motorcyclist was rushed to a nearby hospital where he later passed away. The driver of the truck was cited for making an unsafe left turn.

Another deadly motorcycle accident occurred in the same area four months ago. The motorcyclist was traveling over the speed limit when the motorcyclist crashed into a vehicle that was completing a left-hand turn. The accident also occurred on the Pacific Coast Highway near Channel Drive.

For their part, motorcyclists should obey all posted speed limits to ensure their safety on the road. Motorcyclists that speed create a more dangerous driving atmosphere for other drivers and especially for themselves. Other motorists should be aware that it can be difficult to judge the speed and distance of a motorcycle as it approaches because of its small size. Drivers should signal their intentions before making a turn or lane change to help motorcyclists anticipate changes in traffic.

The number of motorcyclist fatalities has increased in recent years, and motorcyclist deaths account for nearly 15 percent of all driving fatalities.

Source: belmontshore.patch.com, "Update: New Details on Fatal Motorcycle Crash," Nancy Wride, June 18, 2012