Motorcycle Views Newsletter

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Motorcycle Left-Turner Accidents - Don't Be a Statistic

I've been harping on safe riding for years. I even wrote 10 Ways To Be Safe on a Motorcycle. Apparently, even with my audience at About.com, I didn't reach enough riders. Another rider just lost his life only two miles from my house. He struck a left turning driver.

Please read my article and pass it on to your friends, even those who don't ride. We need to save a few lives and it all starts with you.

Reading a newspaper account of an accident like this always leaves the reader with questions about just what were the conditions under which the accident occurred. We've all heard reports that the driver didn't see the bike at all. Well, there are conditions where the sun is in your eyes and blocks out the rider. Or, some part of the structure of the car blocks your vision. I know this happens. I have to move forward, back, and side-to-side sometimes to be sure I can see the complete roadway when I'm waiting to turn in my car. And the small profile of a motorcycle coming at you is hard to see even under good conditions. Of course, these days, the possibility of the driver having a cell phone in their ear doesn't help at all.

I don't want to leave the motorcycle rider out here. We, as riders, don't always look out for ourselves. We know that we need to consider ourselves invisible to other drivers (and motorcyclists). That means always riding with space around us and constantly practicing defensive riding. Anticipate what a driver will do and allow space in case they do what you expect.

In the case of trying to prepare for a left-turner in front of you, always make sure you don't ride close to the car in front of you. A left-turner will see the car in front of you but you may be blocked from their view. The left-turner sees the car in front of you pass and makes a sudden left turn and you smash into them.

I heard of another accident where a car waiting to make a left turn did nothing wrong except they had their wheels turned left anticipating the turn when a vehicle behind them crashed into them and forced their car into the oncoming lane killing a motorcyclist. Folks, I thought everyone knew that you never turn your wheels at rest while waiting to turn. Always keep them straight ahead. If you're hit, you won't go into the oncoming lane.

I guess one could go on and on about left-turners and how to prevent motorcycle fatalities. However, I know these accidents will keep happening. But we all can prevent a few from happening. Reading my 10 Ways To Be Safe on a Motorcycle will help to put a few ideas in your head that may save your life. And really, all I'm trying to do is save you and keep you riding and riding and riding until the day you choose to stop riding. Hopefully, that day will never come.

If you have any comments on how to be safe on a motorcycle, leave them below.

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