California has more registered motorcycles than any other state across the country. Even though most motorcyclists get to and from their destinations safely, motorcycle accidents do occur on California roadways. Here, we want to discuss the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. In some cases, these incidents are caused by the motorcyclist, but it is not uncommon for a crash to be caused by the actions of other drivers on the roadway.
California Motorcycle Accidents – Statistics Nobody Wants to Talk About
When we look at information from the California Office of Traffic Safety, we can see that there were nearly 13,000 motorcyclists injured in vehicle collisions across the state during the latest reporting year. Unfortunately, 474 motorcyclists lost their lives during that same reporting year. Even though motorcycle accidents do not comprise a significant percentage of overall total crashes across the state, we know that many of these incidents lead to severe injuries or fatalities for motorcycle drivers or passengers.
Motorcyclists simply face more risks on the roadway because they do not have the same levels of protection that those inside passenger vehicles have. There are bags or seatbelts, and there is no large metal frame surrounding motorcyclists to keep them safe.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in California
Motorcycle crashes occur in a variety of ways in California. Often, these accidents are caused by the negligent actions of the motorcyclists themselves. However, the actions of other drivers on the roadway can also lead to significant motorcyclist injuries. Some of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents in California include the following:
- Left-hand turns. Left-hand turns are one of the most dangerous situations that list cyclists can encounter. This can include a car making a left-hand turn in front of a motorcyclist who has the right of way. This can also include a motorcyclist making a left-hand turn in front of oncoming traffic.
- Following too closely. Anytime drivers tailgate a vehicle, or when a motorcyclist tailgates other vehicles, this increases the chances that a rear-end collision will occur.
- Too fast for conditions. Speeding is a leading cause of vehicle and motorcycle accidents in California. Driving too fast for conditions slows down motorists’ reaction times.
- Impaired driving. Anytime a vehicle driver or motorcyclist is impaired behind the wheel, they are much more likely to operate in an unsafe manner. Impaired driving slows down reaction times and increases the likelihood that a person will engage in unsafe driving behaviors.
- Distracted driving. There are various distractions that can occur both inside of a vehicle and on the back of a motorcycle. This can include texting or talking on the phone, eating or drinking, reaching for things in the vehicle, and more.
- Passing unsafely. Unsafely passing other vehicles on the roadway can lead to a vehicle clipping the side of a bike.
In addition to these driver or motorcyclist-related causes of accidents, it is important to understand that motorcyclists are more vulnerable to unsafe roadway conditions. This can include slippery roadway surfaces, uneven pavement, potholes, debris on the roadway, loose gravel, etc. In addition to hazards on the roadway, motorcyclists are more vulnerable to changing temperatures and weather conditions.
Learn more about motorcycle accidents by contacting a Riverside motorcycle accident lawyer.