California has a warm climate, scenic panoramas, and varying terrains, making it perfect for motorcycling. Unfortunately, California also carries one of the highest rates of accidents involving motorcycles in the United States. These accidents often end in grave injuries and fatalities. In fact, there are more deaths from motorcycle accidents than car accidents every year.
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Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Learning the common causes of motorcycle accidents can significantly reduce the level of risk.
More than 50% of accident fatalities in motorcycle accidents occur due to a direct collision between them and other vehicles. A car or a truck crashes into a motorcycle directly from the front in most such accidents. More often than not, these accidents occur at an intersection when a driver runs a red light or speeds up to beat the red light.
Regardless of who is at fault, motorcyclists are the ones that face most injuries and fatalities in such accidents because they are less protected than car drivers. That’s why proper care must be taken at intersections, and all the traffic laws must be followed, especially by motorcyclists.
Also, read Why You Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Cars Making Left Turns
Cars making left-hand turns in the state of California is another big cause of accidents for motorcyclists. A turning car usually strikes a motorcycle at an intersection. The motorcyclist passes the car and tries to overtake it, while the car driver makes a left turn without seeing the smaller vehicle; that’s how it usually happens.
Reckless left-hand turns pose a greater danger to motorcyclists than larger vehicles because they are less visible to a turning car driver. In most such cases, the driver that hits the motorcyclist will be held responsible for the accident.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Drunk driving is not just a common cause of road accidents in California, but all over the United States. Motorists driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics pose a risk to themselves, other drivers, and even pedestrians. Inebriated individuals have slower reflexes and a reduced perception of their surroundings. They are more likely to hit motorcyclists because of their smaller size and less visibility.
Sometimes, motorcyclists drive between the rows of stationary or moving vehicles in the same lane. This practice is called lane splitting, which is illegal in many states. However, a law was passed in 2017, making the practice of lane splitting legal in California.
There are valid arguments presented from both sides of the fence, whether lane splitting is safe or not. Regardless, it is a cause of accidents involving motorcycles in California. Proper care must be exercised by both the car and motorcycle drivers to reduce the risk. Moreover, motorcyclists have a better chance of recovering damages if they are hit when lane splitting.
Various Road Hazards
Cracks, potholes, debris, uneven surface, wet leaves, wet pavement, and small objects are some prominent examples of road hazards. Motorcyclists are at greater risk from such road hazards because their vehicles are less stable than cars and offer minimal protection.
When you are out on the road, be very vigilant and careful. You can never take too many precautions.