There are so many reasons why someone might choose to ride a motorcycle in California—warm weather, fluctuating terrain, scenic vistas. That’s not to mention that in general, riding a motorcycle is thrilling, convenient, and relatively cheap. Bikes offer a sense of individuality, a low environmental impact, and if nothing else, the cool factor. But choosing to use this mode of transportation also presents a number of safety concerns.
Motorcycle accidents can be extremely dangerous and sometimes fatal. In fact, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a crash than occupants of passenger vehicles. It’s important to be aware of some of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes in California and why they occur.
The Top Reasons Why Motorcyclists Get into Accidents in California
Unlike conventional passenger vehicles, motorcyclists don’t have a robust metal cage protecting them. As a result, even the most minor accident can end in a catastrophic injury. That’s why it’s so important for motorcyclists to follow the rules of the road and to keep an eye out for other potentially inattentive drivers.
Motorcycles comprise just 3 percent of all vehicles on the road—with about 9 million registered motorcycles in the United States—yet they account for a whopping 14 percent of traffic fatalities and injuries. Here are a few reasons why motorcyclists get into accidents at such a high rate.
Cars Making Left Turns
The scenario happens far too often. A car and a motorcycle both approach a four-way intersection at the same time, but going in different directions. The passenger vehicle makes a left turn without an arrow and doesn’t see the approaching motorcycle—perhaps because it’s smaller and less noticeable—leading to a T-bone collision. In these scenarios, the vehicle driver is almost always at fault. To prevent such an accident from occurring, motorcyclists should always keep their headlights on, even during the day. Likewise, they should approach intersections with caution, even if they have the right of way.
Unsafe Lane Switches
Negligent drivers who fail to check their blind spot or use their signal when changing lanes sometimes hit motorcycles, which are smaller and tougher to see than larger vehicles. To avoid this scenario and sideswipe accidents, it’s important for motorcyclists to never linger in a driver’s or trucker’s blind spot.
Car Doors Opening
Some motorcycle accidents occur when a driver opens the door of their parked vehicle in the path of an oncoming motorcycle. If the motorcycle is moving fast, the passenger door can completely break off its hinge and the motorist can face severe or even fatal injuries. These types of accidents can occur at random, and they’re sometimes impossible to avoid as a motorcyclist. Some safety precautions include slowing your speed when riding alongside parked vehicles and avoiding lane-splitting—which is legal in California—in front of a row of parked cars.
Turning Too Fast
Taking a turn too quickly in any vehicle can be dangerous, but perhaps more so on a motorcycle. Sharp turns force bikes to lean in one direction, and if it touches the road, the rider can lose control and crash. These types of accidents typically occur with inexperienced riders who may not understand how quickly a road can change or how well a bike can handle a turn. It’s important to always slow your turning speed, even if the road looks clear of all gravel and other obstacles.
Motorcyclists are not always at fault when involved in an accident. If you’ve been injured and think another party is responsible, reach out to an experienced motorcycle injury attorney who can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Contact California’s Expert Motorcycle Injury Attorneys
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident as a result of another driver’s negligence, consider reaching out to the trusted legal team at Adamson Ahdoot. Our attorneys have over 100 years of combined legal experience helping clients get the compensation they deserve after their personal injuries. We’ll launch an investigation into your case and the circumstances that led up the crash in order to provide you with the compensation you need for medical bills, property damages, lost wages, and psychological trauma.
Adamson Ahdoot has a proven track record in California of providing clients with top-of-the-line legal representation. Our team of knowledgeable lawyers is here to help fight for your rights. For a free consultation, give us a call at (877) 871-3265 or complete our contact form today.