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Motorcycle Accidents: Common Causes and How to Avoid Them

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Motorcycle crashes are among the most fatal traffic accidents. In 2018 alone, 4,985 motorcycle riders died in a crash. Although this is an almost 5 percent decrease from the previous year, motorcyclists are still over-represented in traffic fatalities.

Even if you wear a helmet, a motorcycle is less likely to withstand a crash compared to four-wheeled vehicles. The following vehicle differences expose the motorcycle rider to a fatal auto accident:

  • A motorcycle has fewer rider protection measures, such as airbags and seat belts, compared to closed cars.
  • It lacks the weight and bulk that prevents it from being thrown too far from the collision site. The rider is likely to get thrown off the motorcycle and sustain major injuries.
  • The weight and size of motorcycles make them less visible to drivers of closed vehicles, especially the ones with dark-tinted windows.
  • The open design makes the motorcycle rider more vulnerable to weather hazards and other road conditions.

These factors make motorcycles more vulnerable to auto accidents. If you drive a motorcycle, it’s a wise idea to get insurance. If you figure in an accident and the other party’s insurance company refuses your claim, a life insurance policy lawyer can help you file an appeal.

Some common causes of motorcycle-car accidents are left-hand turns, lane splitting, and dangerous road conditions.

Left Turn Accidents

A car making a left turn usually hits a motorcycle when the latter does any of the following:

  • Goes straight onto the intersection
  • Passes the car
  • Tries to overtake the car

The motorcycle’s size places it in a blind spot when the car driver makes the turn, resulting in a collision.

The motorcycle rider can recover compensation for injuries and property damage from the other driver, but it depends on who’s at fault for the accident. If the motorcyclist is partly at fault, they might get less compensation or none at all, depending on the state’s laws.

Brush up on your right-of-way laws for crossing intersections to avoid left-turn collisions. 

Motorcycle Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is when a motorcycle drives between two lanes. It usually happens during traffic jams, when vehicles are stopped or slowly moving. Motorcycle lane splitting causes crashes for the following reasons:

  • The motorcycle comes too close to the cars
  • The motorcycle doesn’t have enough space to maneuver
  • The car driver doesn’t anticipate that any motorcycle or other vehicle will pass them since they’re stopped in traffic

Accidents caused by motorcycle lane splitting will be resolved depending on the actions of both drivers before the crash, and the views of the police and presiding judge.

California is the only state that explicitly permits lane splitting. Most states consider it illegal, while others permit it only to an extent. 

Dangerous Road Conditions

Motorcyclists encounter more road hazards than vehicle drivers. Rough roads, gravel on the pavement, potholes, slick surfaces, uneven height between lanes, and other road irregularities make it difficult for bikers to control and balance their motorcycle. Large debris, snow and ice, and animals crossing the road also pose risks for bikers.

Some motorcycle accidents are caused by opening car doors, although this kind of collision isn’t fatal. This happens when a driver opens the door of their car in the path of an oncoming motorcycle.

Stay on the lookout for road conditions that can cause driving problems to stay safe.

If the unthinkable happens and you’re caught in an auto accident while driving a motorcycle, seek legal advice to make sure you can claim compensation for your injuries and damage to your vehicle.

Personal Injury Lawyer in Los Angeles

Fighting with insurance companies is a problem you don’t need after your motorcycle crash. But you can’t let them get away with selling your claim short. Haffner Lawyers has experienced motorcycle accident attorneys who will help you build a strong case and fight for the compensation you’re owed under the law.

For a consultation with a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer, give us a call at 213-514-5681.

(This is an attorney advertisement by Joshua Haffner)

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