If you rode a motorcycle in the late ‘70s, you knew not to pass too close to the right-hand side of trucks with an orangutan in the passenger seat. At the command, “Right turn Clyde,” Clint Eastwood’s orangutan would punch his arm out the window knocking you off your bike.

Yet it was never the right-hand side of vehicles that are most dangerous for motorcyclists. It is the left. You are more likely to die while riding your motorcycle because a driver turns left across you than for any other reason. 42% of motorcyclists killed on the road died due to a driver turning left in front of them, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

As a motorcyclist, you cannot control the behavior of car drivers. While you should be able to ride your motorcyclists in safety, you know you have to look out for yourself, because too many drivers are not looking out for you.

You will have seen how many drivers are distracted when in their cars. Whether they are on their phone, fiddling with the radio or chatting to their orangutan, they are not concentrating on the road, and they have not seen you. 

Check your mirrors frequently to see if drivers are paying attention to the road and if they might turn left. 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, causing you injuries or worse.