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Staying Safe While on a Motorcycle in California

Motorcycle accidents can be very dangerous, even fatal. California accounted for 474 of the 5,014 motorcyclists killed in 2019. Even though the figure is lower than the number of motorcycle fatalities in 2018,riders should still take steps to prevent them from happening again.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Here are the common causes of motorcycle accidents in California.

Speeding

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding accounted for 33 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents in 2019. Speeding increases both the chance of an accident occurring and the severity of injuries if an accident does occur.

It takes longer to stop or slow down at high speeds, so a speeding motorcycle is more likely to collide with another vehicle or lose control and crash. Riders should be aware of the dangers and take precautions to avoid speeding. These precautions include using proper gear, obeying all traffic laws, and riding within their abilities.

Riders should also be familiar with their motorcycle’s capabilities and ride accordingly. Riding too fast can lead to a loss of control.

Alcohol

Accidents caused by alcohol consumption are among the most common motorcycle accidents in California. If you are on a motorcycle, it is crucial to be aware of the dangers posed by these substances.

Fatalities due to alcohol impairment in 2019 reached 1,066 in California. Even though the number is lower by 4.5 percent than the previous year, drivers and motorcycle riders should still be cautious while on the road.

To reduce the risk of these accidents, drivers and motorcycle riders should:

  •         Avoid drinking and driving
  •         Plan ahead for a safe ride
  •         Designate a sober driver
  •         Call a cab or rideshare service if needed

Vehicle Blind Spots

Motorcycles are a popular mode of transportation, and as a result, they are often the victim of negligent drivers. Many motorcycle accidents are caused by vehicles making a left turn in front of the motorcycle. This is often because the driver doesn’t see the motorcycle due to the vehicle’s blind spot.

Lane splitting by motorcyclists is legal in California, and many motorcyclists do it to avoid traffic. However, it can be dangerous, and motorcyclists should be cautious when lane splitting. This practice is dangerous since the motorcyclist can easily be hit by a car that changes lanes without looking or they are in the blind spot of the vehicle.

To avoid being caught in a blind spot, motorcyclists should avoid riding in the middle of lanes, and if they must ride in the middle of a lane, they should do so for a limited amount of time.  If a motorcyclist is lane splitting, they should be cautious and use their mirrors to ensure safety.

Motorcyclists should also anticipate that vehicles will change lanes without signaling or looking and be prepared to take evasive action. Additionally, they should exercise caution during inclement weather, as rain and snow make it more difficult for drivers to see motorcycles.

Motorcyclists can take steps to avoid common accidents in California. By being aware of the dangers posed by speeding, alcohol, and negligent drivers, motorcyclists can reduce their risk of being in an accident.

Additionally, riders should be familiar with their motorcycle’s capabilities and ride accordingly to avoid losing control. In case of an accident, it is important to seek medical attention immediately and contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney at Haffner Law to protect your rights.

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