Motorcyclists face many challenges and dangers on the road. A motorcycle accident can have some severe consequences because motorcycles don’t have the structural protection that cars have. Hence, passengers can suffer from more severe and fatal injuries during a collision. Studies reveal that motorcyclists are16 times more likely to suffer from severe injuries than automobile drivers.
Moreover, as it happens, motorcyclists are rarely at fault during a collision. It’s crucial to hire a personal injury lawyer to determine the victim and perpetrator of a motorcycle accident.
This article covers the common causes of motorcycle accidents and precautionary measures that motorcyclists can take.
Reasons for Motorcycle Accidents
A study revealed that in the US, there is an 80% chance of injury or death on a motorcycle as compared to 20% for passenger vehicles.
Here are a number of the most common causes of Sacramento motorcycle accidents:
Speeding is considered the leading cause of auto accidents. Speeding can result in a vehicle going out of control, making it extremely difficult for the driver to navigate on the road. This situation can eventually result in a dangerous collision. The higher the speed of the vehicle or motorcycle, the more severe the impact and damage will be. There’s no doubt a speeding passenger vehicle or motorcycle causes serious motorcycle accidents.
Unsafe Lane Changes
Another factor that leads to serious motorcycle crashes is hazardous lane changes. Drivers risk colliding with motorcyclists by failing to check their blind spots and giving turn signals when switching lanes. The chances of accidents are highly likely to occur on motorways and speedways due to the rapid switching of lanes.
Moreover, such accidents also happen when a motorcyclist is switching lanes and fails to notice a speedy oncoming vehicle.
This may seem like a trivial cause, but it contributes to many motorcycle accidents. These accidents occur when a car or vehicle driver opens the door of their parked car in the street, missing out on the oncoming motorcycle.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence is illegal all around the world, and rightly so. Be it drugs or alcohol, driving under the influence impairs your judgment and slows down mental processing, which is highly essential while driving. Drunk driving not only causes serious accidents but the driver also often faces civil and criminal liability.
Driving between two lanes without picking a side is known as “lane splitting.” Lane splitting is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents. It is more detrimental if inexperienced drivers and riders are involved. However, in California lane splitting is legal.
Sudden brakes cause serious accidents, especially when vehicles closely tailgate one another. When a motorcycle tailgates a vehicle closely, any abrupt stops or brakes made by the car ahead will cause the motorcyclist to crash into it, resulting in severe injuries and, in most cases, even death.
Amateur Drivers and Motorcyclists
Inexperienced drivers and motorcyclists are highly likely to make risky moves and make rash decisions when riding. This affects the safety of other motorcyclists on the road, too.
Serious motorcycle accidents and crashes can occur when vehicle drivers make turns without using the turn signal or make misjudgments about the distance of an oncoming motorcycle. These accidents are widespread.
Poor Road Maintenance
Poorly maintained roads with potholes, debris, and crumbling pavements increase the chances of a motorcyclist losing control of their bike. Moreover, non-operational traffic signals and lack of proper traffic signs also create dangerous conditions for motorcyclists.
Some motorcycles might have certain non-visible manufacturing defects or are very poorly designed to withstand traffic conditions. These defects are a common cause of motorcycle accidents. However, in such instances, the manufacturing company is held responsible and liable for the incident.
Preventing Motorcycle Accidents
Research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that almost eighty percent of the reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death, making it extremely important to take certain precautions.
Since excessive speed causes most accidents, it’s crucial to ensure that you ride your motorcycle at a controllable speed. Additionally, motorcyclists should also be alert and steer clear of any speeding cars.
Wearing Motorcycle Gear
A motorcycle doesn’t have the structural protection of a car; hence, it is necessary to adorn the appropriate motorcycle gear to prevent serious injuries. This includes wearing a long sleeve shirt and long pants made of protective material, gloves, and, most importantly, a helmet. Since head injuries can be the most dangerous and traumatic of them all, you must put on your helmet before hopping on your motorcycle. Helmets are required by law to be worn by motorcyclists in California.
Most motorcycle accidents occur as vehicle drivers fail to spot incoming motorcyclists. By wearing bright colors and incorporating reflective elements in your clothing and motorcycle, you can be spotted from afar. Moreover, it’s essential to use your headlights, especially at night.
Using your phone while riding is against the law, yet people engage in it very often. Do not text, call, or use your phone when riding your bike as it diverts your attention, leaving you unprepared for any sudden lane changes or swerves. Moreover, you need to be alert and swerve away from any drivers who may be illegally using their cell phones.
Beware Of Intersections
Almost half of all vehicle accidents take place at intersections. Always keep an eye out for intersections and be on high alert for any vehicles that are making a turn so that you can respond appropriately.
Avoid Alcohol and Drugs
Driving under the influence is a serious offense. Hence, motorcyclists need to ensure that they are completely sober before hopping onto their bike. This is important as driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs impair your judgment, posing dangers to those around you and yourself.
Avoid Riding in Bad Weather Conditions
Adverse weather conditions can cause even the best of drivers to lose control of their vehicles. Motorcycles are not as stable as cars are on the road, making them more prone to slippery roads. To avoid an accident, motorcyclists should avoid riding their bikes until the adverse weather conditions blow over, if possible.
Are There Times When The Motorcyclist Is At Fault During an Accident?
Very often, when motorcycle accidents occur, it’s usually the fault of other non-motorcyclists. This doesn’t mean that motorcyclists don’t cause accidents altogether; it just implies that many other factors come into play to cause the occurrence of such incidents.
While all the parties involved in an accident might blame one another, only a personal injury lawyer can run a detailed investigation to find out the actual culprit.
However, that being said, there are some instances when the negligence of motorcyclists can cause a severe accident.
Some of these include:
- Lane splitting: As discussed above, riding a motorcycle between lanes to travel faster and get ahead of the traffic can result in a fatal accident. This highly negligible behavior can be hazardous, posing deadly risks to the motorcyclists rather than the other parties. Although, legal in California motorcyclists should practice extreme caution when lane slitting.
- Riding Under the Influence: If a motorcyclist rides their bike under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which results in an accident, they will be charged as the guilty party.
- Locking the front brake: Applying immense pressure on the brake causes the wheels to lock and the bike to skid. In such instances, you can also be thrown off the motorcycle.
What Should One Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
Every accident has a victim and a driver or motorcyclist whose negligent behavior creates such a dangerous situation. After a motorcycle accident takes place, it’s crucial to identify the party or parties who are legally liable to compensate the victim for the unfortunate incident. It’s critical to acknowledge that more than one party can be responsible for the accident.
Possible parties that may be held liable for motorcycle accidents include:
- The motorcyclist themselves
- The motorcycle company or manufacturer
- The driver of the vehicle involved in the accidents
- The motorcycle rental company (if it’s a rental)
- The government, if the poor maintenance of the road causes an accident
- The motorcycle repair shop if any repairing and maintenance work was conducted before the accident
Schedule a Free Consultaiton
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, and it wasn’t your fault, you should consult a personal injury lawyers of Phoong Law Corp. They will help conduct a detailed investigation to determine the ultimate perpetrator of an accident.
When collisions with motorcycles occur, the non-motorcyclists are usually responsible. However, it’s also important to acknowledge that sometimes the negligible behavior of a motorcyclist can also result in fatal crashes. Ultimately, only a personal injury lawyer can help determine the culprit of the accident. If you’ve been injured contact Phoong Law Corp today. There is no fee unless your case is won.