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4 key tips to avoid a left-turn crash on a motorcycle

A left-turn accident can be devastating for a motorcycle. This type of accident happens when another car pulls out of a side street, turning left onto the road the motorcycle is already traveling down, or when a car going the opposite direction turns left across the motorcycle’s travel lane.

Often, the small size of the motorcycle plays a huge role. Other drivers simply don’t see the bike, assume the road is clear and think they’re making a safe turn. To avoid this type of crash, there are four key things riders should do.

1. Do not speed.

The faster you’re going, the less time you have to react to the turning vehicle. Plus, the driver may assume there is enough space to turn, thinking you’re going the speed limit, when your speed actually makes the turn impossible.

2. Watch stopped cars carefully.

When another car pulls into the left-hand turn lane or stops at a cross street with its blinker on, watch it carefully. Do not assume the driver sees you. If anything, it’s safest to assume the driver doesn’t see you so that you identify the danger as soon as the car begins to move into your path.

3. Know your exits.

If the car does turn, is the lane next to you empty? What about the shoulder? Is there another travel lane to your left? Always be aware of your exits and other traffic so you know the best course of action when you see the crash coming.

4. Watch the car’s front tire.

This is your main predictor of a turn. Look to see which way the tire is turned and watch for even the slightest movement. Keep your eye on the car until you’re safely past.

If you can’t avoid the crash even doing all of these things, there’s a good chance you’ll be seriously injured. Make sure you know what legal rights you have.

Source: Motorcycle Central, “How to Avoid Left Turn Collisions,” accessed Aug. 24, 2017