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Common Causes of California Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycles are one of the most popular means of transportation in the state of California. The nearly year-round sunny weather and scenic roads may be one of the reasons why. Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle is also one of the most dangerous ways to get around. Motorcyclists are at higher risk of being in catastrophic accidents.

In California, hundreds of motorcycle accidents result in injury or death each year. In 2017 alone, a total of 16,505 motorcycle accidents were recorded, resulting in 15,527 injuries and 541 deaths. The accidents had varying causes, but many of them were linked to driving under the influence of alcohol.

The following are some of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents in California:

Head-On Vehicle Collisions

Most motorcycle accident fatalities are due to frontal collisions, or when two vehicles coming from opposite directions collide. These cases often involve cars or trucks crashing into motorcycles at intersections. These accidents usually occur when a driver runs a red light. Depending on the speed of the vehicles involved and the angle of the crash, the outcome could range from whiplash to more severe injuries or even death of the driver and/or rider involved.

Intoxication

As previously mentioned, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a common cause of motorcycle accidents. This is because these substances negatively affect an individual’s judgment, vision, and reaction time. Individuals who drive while intoxicated or on illegal drugs pose a significant risk to other drivers, especially to motorcyclists who are less noticeable on the road due to their smaller size.

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting occurs when motorcyclists drive between rows of stopped or moving vehicles. While this practice is illegal in some other U.S. states, it was legalized in California in 2017.

There are varying views on the safety of lane splitting, with some drivers saying that it reduces the risk of rear-end collisions. Others, however, think otherwise due to these three factors:

  • The proximity of larger vehicles to motorcycles
  • Limited space in which motorcyclists can maneuver
  • Car and truck drivers not anticipating motorcyclists to overtake in slowed or stopped traffic

Road Hazards

Hazards like uneven road surfaces, potholes, wet pavement, asphalt cracks, and even wet leaves pose a greater risk to lighter vehicles like motorcycles that offer less stability than cars and trucks. If the accident was caused by a lack of road maintenance, the driver could hold the city, municipality, or state liable for restitution in a personal injury case.

Reach out to a Los Angeles Motorcycle Crash Lawyer

If you are a victim of a motorcycle accident, reach out to Haffner Law. Our seasoned personal injury lawyers are passionate about helping our clients get the compensation they deserve. You can depend on us to guide you throughout the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit. We’ll handle everything from collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses to dealing with insurance companies and filing the case in court.

Get in touch with Haffner Law at 213-514-5681 to schedule a free consultation today.

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