The 6 Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Knowing the most common causes of motorcycle accidents here in California can help all drivers reduce the risk to motorcyclists on the road. If you were recently in a motorcycle accident, it might even help you determine what caused yours. Here is what you need to know about how motorcycle accidents occur and how you can protect your rights after a serious injury.
Your guide to preventing motorcycle accidents
In our latest infographic, we share sobering statistics about the number of motorcycle accidents here in California, as well as ways that all drivers and riders can share our roads safely.
What happens in a motorcycle accident?
Motorcycles are different from other vehicles on the road, but that doesn’t give other drivers an excuse not to use caution when sharing the road with them. Motorcyclists are exposed to weather and conditions of the road, such as flying rocks or other debris that can cause injury or lead to an accident. Riders rely on different mental and physical skills than someone driving a car. Motorcycles are inherently less stable than their 4-wheeled counterparts. Compared to cars, they also lack standard life-saving safety features such as airbags and seatbelts. These factors alone make motorcycle accidents highly dangerous and often deadly.
Who is most commonly at fault for motorcycle accidents?
Other drivers are most commonly at fault for motorcycle accidents. While, in some specific situations, liability might lie with motorcycle manufacturers or road crews, driver error is the most common cause of these crashes.
Some typical vehicle driver errors that lead to motorcycle accidents on California roads include:
Failing to yield when turning left
Drivers waiting to turn left are likely only expecting to need to yield to oncoming cars. As soon as the last car passes, they may already be making their turn, only to find out in the worst way possible that a motorcycle was following the previous car. In this scenario, the driver of the vehicle would be responsible. These types of accidents can happen on both rural highways and at busy city intersections.
Motorcycles are often less visible to other drivers. A driver making a lane change may fail to see the motorcycle in the lane they are moving into. This action can cause a collision or cause the motorcyclist to be pushed off of the road, into another lane of traffic, or to otherwise crash.
Other vehicles often follow too closely behind motorcycles in traffic. These drivers might misjudge how close they actually are until it’s too late. Hitting a motorcycle from behind, especially if the accident involves multiple vehicles, puts the rider at high risk for ejection and severe injuries.
Poor weather and road conditions
Road surfaces can quickly become slippery when you encounter rain or other inclement weather. As a motorcyclist, you should be more cautious during these times, as should the drivers around you. It is always a good idea to practice defensive driving. If road or weather conditions led to your motorcycle accident, you should still discuss your case with a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer.
Speeding by either a motorcyclist or another driver increases the risk of an accident. The higher the speeds of the motorcycle and other vehicles involved, the more severe the accident and injuries will be in the event of a collision or crash—especially for the biker. Obeying posted speed limit signs or even driving under the speed limit, especially when there is heavy traffic or poor road conditions, can help prevent accidents.
Being under the influence of alcohol and other substances while driving is extremely risky. Other drivers who are lacking coordination and skill are less likely to see you and more likely to hit you. Since riding a motorcycle is more demanding than riding a car, it doesn’t take much to make a motorcyclist unable to operate their bike safely. If you are hit by a drunk or otherwise impaired driver while operating your motorcycle, be sure to contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Los Angeles.
What should you do if the other motorist flees?
Unfortunately, there are cases in which drivers who hit motorcyclists flee the scene of the accident. In many cases, this occurs because the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or has an active arrest warrant and wants to avoid contact with the police.
In the event this happens to you, do your best to get the make and model of the vehicle and its license plate number. Then, call 911 as soon as you can. Try to get contact information from anyone else that saw the accident. Finally, if you are unable to get a description of the vehicle and there were no witnesses, all is not lost: in many cases, investigators are able to find hit-and-run drivers with the help of surveillance footage. In the event that you cannot locate the driver, you may be able to recover from your own insurance coverage if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
Why should I contact a motorcycle accident lawyer?
There are many other potential causes and factors that are related to motorcycle accidents, and it can be difficult to know who is responsible in the event of a collision. If you were recently in an accident while riding, now is the time to reach out to a Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney to find out if you have a claim worth pursuing. Your attorney can assess all the details in your case to find out what caused your accident and who might be at fault. They can then advise you on the best course of action and fight for your rights through every step of your case.
For your free legal consultation, contact Blair & Ramirez LLP today at (213) 568-4000 or through our form.
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