Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents and How to Prevent Them
There were 5,172 motorcycle accident fatalities in 2017 alone.
Motorcycle accidents are simply common. They are especially ubiquitous in California, where around 840,000 motorcyclists ride the road. With that many people all driving, an accident is bound to happen at some point.
All a motorcyclist has for protection is a helmet. That won’t do much good during a collision with a 3,000-pound car going 70 mph. Injuries, death, and accidents of all kinds are all too common for motorcyclists.
“Knowledge is power” is a cliche, but it became one for a reason. It’s a fact. And, so in knowing the common causes of motorcycle accidents, riders and others on the road alike might be better able to avoid accidents.
As well, if you or a loved one were involved in a motorcycle accident, or an automobile accident involving a motorcyclist, make sure you contact an experienced Los Angeles law firm as soon as possible. With years of experience in accidents like yours, these Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers will help you.
A heavily trafficked roadway is like a study in Chaos Theory, or maybe the Butterfly Effect. In essence, it’s an example of how small, seemingly insignificant incidents can ripple out and create massive consequences and changes.
One such seemingly insignificant action is the practice of lane splitting.
Lane splitting is when a motorcyclist rides between the lanes of traffic. It’s a common practice since, obviously, a motorcycle and its rider don’t take up much space. In fact, a lot of times, lane splitting is a safe practice.
But lane splitting also creates the opportunity for various incidents of chaos. A motorcyclist driving too slowly while lane splitting, especially during times of heavy traffic, when cars are more likely to make sudden lane changes and stops, opens a whole can of worms.
The best way to avoid accidents caused by lane splitting is by driving well under the speed limit. As well, both the drivers on the road and the motorcyclists themselves need to pay extra attention to the road when someone is lane splitting.
And finally, it goes without saying, but wearing a helmet will greatly help a motorcyclist avoid injury. It can be the difference between life and death. A rider would be smart to always wear one while on the road.
Cars Making Left-Hand Turns
Since motorcyclists take up such a small amount of space, it’s easy for them to go unnoticed. Therefore, it’s easy for a driver to miss them, especially a driver coming from oncoming traffic, making a left turn.
While accidents on the road are both party’s faults, motorcyclists themselves need to exercise extra caution while driving. When turning, they need to keep their eyes open and need to be vigilant for cars making a left-hand turn or the signs of them about to make a left-hand turn.
Watching to see if the driver is in the middle of the intersection is a solid way to see if they are about to make a left-hand turn. A gap in front of the car might also be an indication they are about to make a left-hand turn. Watching the driver themselves helps, too, as they can give some telltale signs they are about to turn, such as looking both ways.
Failure to See the Motorcyclist
As stated, a motorcyclist can be easy to miss on the road.
Not only do they take up such a small amount of space, but they can also be a lot more mobile on the road than other drivers. It’s common for motorcyclists to weave in and out of traffic, and, therefore, in and out of driver’s blind spots.
So drivers on the roads of California, and the whole world as well, should exercise extra caution when switching lanes. Looking over their shoulders when making turns or changing lanes should always be done, to make sure a motorcyclist in their blind spots.
Motorcyclists, too, need to make sure they’re always being perceptive on the road and keep their eyes on the other drivers on the road. Being aware of the signs that a driver is about to make a turn or switch lanes is important as well, such as the driver’s head turning to look into their mirrors, their wheels starting to turn, or a turn signal coming on.
Speeding is one of those things that everyone is told not to do, but most people will respond with a wave of the hand and do it anyways.
Motorcyclists especially might be guilty of this, since they are smaller and have an easier time maneuvering on the road. They might be more prone to ducking, weaving, and speeding their way through traffic to pass up any clogs of vehicular congestion on the road.
However, speeding is the cause of so many accidents on the roadways, and so drivers and motorcycle riders alike should always obey the posted speed limit.
Speeding will open up a driver or motorcyclist to getting pulled over and getting speeding tickets, and it puts them at great risk for getting in an accident and getting injured.
This is especially the case for motorcyclists with no protection from collisions other than a helmet. Speeding might make a rider have to stop suddenly, meaning that they could be thrown off of their bike.
Contact a Los Angeles Law Group Today
With such a massive population and equally trafficked roadways, California and Los Angeles alike are prone to car accidents and motorcycle accidents.
Knowing the cause of motorcycle accidents is the only way to prevent them. However, at a certain point, an accident might be unpreventable, regardless of how much you know about the causes of motorcycle accidents.
At that point, you should contact the law firm of Tawni Takagi at (310) 954-7248.
With years of experience in the Los Angeles area handling cases of motorcycle accidents, our Los Angeles accident attorneys will give you the legal guidance you need. Let us help you get your life back on track, and help get you the compensation you might be owed.