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Fatal Islandia Motorcycle Crash Involves Car Driver Making a Left Turn

When a Central Islip motorcycle rider was killed in a crash at a Suffolk County intersection, it marked yet another instance of a biker being struck by a motorist making a left turn. More motorcycle accidents are linked to left turns than to any other cause. Whether an intersection has a traffic light, a stop sign or nothing to control the flow of vehicles, bikers face a serious risk when a driver is crossing one or more lanes of traffic.

Motorcycle rider Matthew Matuza, 42, was traveling east on Motor Parkway in Islandia when a car that had been traveling westbound struck his bike while it was turning onto Veterans Memorial Parkway. Mr. Matuza rolled under a truck that was stopped at the intersection. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Even in situations where motorcycle riders have the right of way and are operating their bike safely, they face danger from drivers of cars and trucks who aren’t using proper care. When turning left, a motorist could be looking onto the road where they’re heading rather than the one they’re crossing. Car driver distractions such as cell phones, food or in-car conversations can create enhanced dangers for motorcyclists, because drivers might overestimate their ability to see traffic out of the corner of their eye. Moreover, they’re almost certainly looking for a car or truck, not something that’s harder to see, such as a motorcycle or bicycle.

Mr. Matuza’s tragic death also highlights another serious concern for bikers involved in collisions with turning vehicles. Since a motorcycle has much less mass than a car or truck, even slight contact by another vehicle can knock a bike off course, causing a fall or collision. Accordingly, the other vehicle does not have to be moving at a high rate of speed to trigger an accident that leaves a motorcycle rider with serious, permanent or even fatal injuries. Of course, the faster that the car or truck is going, the more likely it is that a severe crash will ensue.

The proven New York lawyers at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP represent injured motorcycle riders in litigation against negligent motorists. We also handle wrongful death lawsuits in situations where bikers do not survive. Our firm serves clients throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties and is determined to maximize compensation for victims.