Why Should Motorcycles Watch Out On Left Turns?

Christian J. Amendt

Motorcyclists often have an uphill battle ahead of them when it comes to ensuring their own safety on the road. Drivers do not always realize the risk they pose and thus end up unintentionally creating hazardous situations.

This can include drivers turning right while motorcyclists attempt to turn left. In general, left turns for motorcyclists can end much more poorly than expected.

The heightened risks of left turns

The NHTSA discusses motorcycles and the dangers they face on the road regularly. Motorcyclists face risk in almost every aspect of hitting the road, but turns often pose a particular danger.

Specifically, left turns pose the biggest threat of all. The National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration states that 6 percent of car crashes that involve crossing paths happen with right turns. However, up to 53 percent of these crashes occur with left turns.

In short, turning left will result in an over ten times increase in the chance of a motorcycle getting hit. In particular, drivers turning right at the same time prove dangerous to these motorcyclists.

Why drivers crash more with left turns

Many drivers do not notice motorcyclists due to their size. They also tend not to check right turns as closely due to the fact that they often feel like “protected” turns. Drivers do not have to fight opposing flows of traffic and typically feel safer. This can lead to a lapse in proper safety measures, like examining all traffic lanes before turning.

Motorcyclists who know about this increased risk can move forward with a careful eye toward left turns. It could potentially mean the difference between avoiding the next possible crash.