If you’re a motorcyclist, it’s likely that you’re most concerned for your own safety when another driver is making a left turn. It’s one of the most dangerous situations that any rider can find themselves in, and it leads to a lot of serious accidents every year.
These tend to happen in two ways. First off, you may be going straight, while the driver is turning through your lane. If they turn when you don’t have enough space, you run straight into the side of the vehicle.
Second, you may be turning right. The driver may think, due to the fact that you’re on a small motorcycle, that they can turn left simultaneously. This is not true. You have the right of way. If they turn, they can hit you while you do it.
Why are these accidents so dangerous? There are a few reasons, including:
- They are extremely hard to avoid, even when you see the other driver making the illegal or reckless turn. Even an aware rider may not be able to prevent a crash.
- They happen very quickly, with little space between the vehicles. As you get close to a car that is waiting to turn, for instance, you expect them to wait until you go by, so you don’t even slow down. When they turn right at the last second, you can’t do anything.
- You may hit the side of the car. There’s no give at all. For a rider on a small, light motorcycle, this is very similar to driving straight into a brick wall.
- Motorcyclists have very little protection. Odds are high that you’re going to be thrown right off of your bike, perhaps striking the side of the turning vehicle with your body or landing in the road. Regardless of speed, this type of impact with just a helmet to protect you can be devastating.
You have little control over these accidents. The best thing you can do is to try to stay aware of the risks at all times, adopting a defensive mindset as you ride. But even that may not be enough. If you get seriously injured in a crash, be sure you know what legal options you have to seek compensation.