If you’re a motorcyclist, you already know that defensive driving starts with watching for hazards in advance. You understand how important this is on a motorcycle since you do not have a lot of physical protection in a crash. Staying safe is all about avoiding crashes entirely, and that means seeing hazards and taking steps to stay out of an accident.

With that mindset, the biggest thing to look for is a car waiting to turn left.

It looks safe. You’re riding in your lane, behind another vehicle. Ahead of you, in the oncoming lanes, a car stops with the blinker on. They want to turn across your lane and into a parking lot. This happens all the time. It doesn’t stand out.

Even so, it’s a huge danger for motorcyclists, who often go unnoticed on the road. The problem is that the driver may let that car ahead of you pass through, but they will not see you on the motorcycle. Without giving you any warning, they’ll turn left and go right in front of you. Now what? You can’t avoid that crash, in most cases, and it’s a violent collision at high speeds.

You can’t stop that driver from making a mistake, but you can understand that seeing the car waiting to turn is a red flag. It presents a serious risk. Watch that car carefully until you pass it and you know you’re safe.

When you do get involved in an accident because of someone else’s mistake, you may want to talk to an experienced legal team about the next steps you should take.