Motorcyclists are incredibly vulnerable on the roadways throughout California. Unfortunately, drivers in many vehicles tend to disregard motorcyclist safety. In some cases, drivers even become aggravated with motorcyclists on the roadway and purposely operate recklessly around them. Here, we want to discuss the top three safety precautions that motorcyclists can take to avoid fatal accidents in the state of California.
These Steps Can Save Motorcyclist Lives
According to data available from the California Office of Traffic Safety, we can see that there were 473 total motorcyclist fatalities across the state during the latest reporting year. This is, by far, more motorcyclist fatalities than any other state across the country during that reporting year. California has partnered with various motorcycle safety public awareness events and conducted publicized motorcycle safety enforcement operations, but motorcyclist fatalities continue to rise each year.
1. Reduce Speed
Speeding is a leading cause of vehicle accidents across the state of California each year. This is certainly true for motorcyclists as well. When a motorcyclist is operating too fast for conditions, this reduces the time that they have to react to other cars, potential hazards, or debris on the roadway. Speeding can make it difficult to see an upcoming turn, which can result in a motorcyclist entering a corner too fast. This often leads to a motorcyclist slamming the brakes too hard and laying the bike down.
Motorcyclists should never go above the posted speed limit, and they should always slow down to adjust for changing conditions, including poor weather, reduced visibility, or increased traffic.
2. Never Drive While Impaired
Alcohol-impaired driving is a leading cause of traffic fatalities across the state. The California Office of Traffic Safety states that 139 of all motorcycles fatalities during the latest reporting year occurred when the motorcycle operator had a blood-alcohol level above .08%.
Alcohol significantly slows a person’s reaction time and impairs judgment, which often leads to a motorcyclist operating the motorcycle in a way that puts themselves, their passengers, and others on the roadway in danger. Impaired driving is even more dangerous than drinking and driving in a regular vehicle simply because keeping a motorcycle upright requires coordination and balance.
3. Learn to Deal With Common Hazards
One of the biggest mistakes that motorcyclists make, particularly new riders, is hopping on a motorcycle without much experience. Just like driving a regular vehicle, experience is crucial. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with common roadway hazards that affect motorcyclists more than those inside traditional passenger vehicles, including train tracks, wet pavement, leaves, loose gravel, potholes, and more.
Motorcyclists need to know what to do to maneuver around and through all roadway hazards without being involved in a serious solo accident or a collision that affects other vehicles or bystanders. There are various strategies for maneuvering and breaking that all motorcyclists should be able to use when the moment arises.
We strongly suggest that motorcyclists take a motorcycle riding course that can provide them with various strategies for dealing with common hazards. It’s also best to contact an Orange County motorcycle accident attorney if you’ve been injured in an accident.