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That first day out on your new motorcycle feels so free and invigorating. You cannot believe it took you this long to finally buy a bike. You can tell after just one ride that you’re going to be obsessed and that your weekends are sure to become chances for you to explore the beautiful Georgia countryside.

However, you’re also wary. You have never felt more danger from the cars around you on the road. When someone tailgates you, you noticed it in a new way. When a driver is waiting to pull out of a driveway, you find yourself staring at the car, wondering if they see you. When someone passes you and comes a bit too close, you feel that sudden spike in adrenaline.

It’s no secret that motorcycle riders are more likely to get seriously injured or even killed in a crash. You know you want to stay safe, and you know that other drivers’ mistakes could be all that stands between you and an accident. You can’t control what they decide to do and what mistakes they make, but you can take steps to protect yourself. The first one is to understand the biggest hazard you face on the road: the left-turn accident.

Two scenarios

There are two main ways that this happens, and knowing what they are can help you stay vigilant in risky situations. First off, a driver may wait to turn left at an intersection. They do not have a stop sign, but they need to wait for oncoming traffic before turning. They do not see your bike in the oncoming lanes, due to its color and small size, and they turn right in front of you.

The second way that this happens is very similar, but it’s when a car is not even at an intersection. The driver may be waiting to turn off of the road and into a driveway or a parking lot. Again, he or she does not see your bike and turns in front.

Why it’s so dangerous

This type of accident is so dangerous because you may not even have a chance to slow down before impact. You have the right of way, after all. On top of that, since the car crosses your entire traffic lane, taking evasive action is difficult or impossible. Finally, because the car turned sideways in front of you, that creates a high-speed impact with the largest face on the vehicle, one that has no give at all.

Your rights

Understanding this type of crash may help you keep your eyes open for the risks and avoid an incident, but it may not. These things happen quickly and they’re not your fault. If you get seriously injured, make sure you know what legal rights you have.