If you were a motorcyclist in the late 70’s you may recall Clint Eastwood’s command, “Right turn Clyde.” In response his orangutan would punch his arm out of the window knocking someone off of their bike. So, you knew to never pass too close to the right-hand side of a truck with an orangutan in the passenger seat.
However, in reality, it isn’t the right-side of a vehicle that presents the most danger to motorcyclists – it’s the left. Statistics show that riders are more likely to die when a driver turns left across them, than for any other reason. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 42% of motorcycle accident causalities result from a driver turning left in front of them.
Motorcyclists know that they cannot control, or predict, the behavior of other drivers. While they should be able to ride in safety, it is important for them to always look out for themselves when on the road, because the fact of the matter is, too many drivers are not looking out for them.
Anytime you are on the road, chances are you will encounter a distracted driver. Whether they are texting, changing the radio station or chatting with their orangutan, they are not concentrating on the road or the vehicles around them.
Motorcyclists remember to check your mirrors often to make sure that other driver are paying attention to the road, and if they might be making a left turn. Take extra care when coming up to left turns, if you have cars in the lane outside you. Know that one of them may decide to turn left at the last minute without checking, which can lead to a serious accident.