Summer in Santa Clara and the roads are full of Harleys, Triumphs, BMWs and other large motorcycles. As city temperatures hit the 80s, you decide to join them and head off into the mountains and cooler air.

Heading home, you change down through the gears and let off the throttle as you come to an intersection, then rev to pass through the green light. Then you feel the crunch against your leg as a car full of teenage girls, oblivious to the fact you are there, knocks you to the ground. In seconds, your life as you knew it has suddenly changed.

Around one-third of motorcycle collisions with other vehicles are due to another vehicle not checking properly to their left and turning across the motorcycle, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 42% of fatal motorcycle crashes involving other vehicles happening at intersections.

Time and time again, drivers in other vehicles say they did not even see the motorcyclist. There are many reasons drivers fail to spot a motorcyclist to their left at an intersection:

  • There is a lot to look out for: At a crossroads, there may be multiple vehicles making maneuvers simultaneously.
  • Failure to check mirrors: Most drivers fail to check their mirrors adequately when driving.
  • Partial view of the road: Large vehicles in front can obscure the view ahead, as can other cars crossing the junction.
  • Distracted driving: Most drivers spend a large portion of their road time distracted. Be it phones, satnavs, advertising hoardings or a child in the back, it takes conscious effort to avoid these distractions.

If you have been lucky enough to survive a San Jose motorcycle crash caused by another vehicle, seek legal help to understand your compensation options.