Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Los Angeles
Motorcycling is a popular means of transportation in California due to its warm climate, varying terrains, and scenic vistas. Today, there are more registered motorcycles on the road than ever before. Unfortunately, there are also more motorcycle accidents, often resulting in catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Did you know that there are far more deaths from motorcycle accidents than from car accidents? By learning the common causes of motorcycle accidents, you can reduce your level of risk.
J&Y Law Firm is highly experienced in handling motorcycle accident injury lawsuits. Despite the public’s bias against motorcyclists, we believe that anyone who has been injured in a motorcycle accident deserves just compensation. We are dedicated to keeping the roads and highways of Northern and Southern California safe for motorcyclists. Our legal team also works to educate the public about the common causes of motorcycle accidents.
What are the leading reasons for motorcycle accidents?
No matter how safely a motorcyclist rides, accidents are often caused by negligent or reckless drivers. Some of the common causes of motorcycle accidents in California include:
- Head-on Motorcycle collisions
- Cars making left-hand turns
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Motorcycle lane splitting
- Road hazards
Head-on Motorcycle Collisions
Collisions between other vehicles and motorcycles account for more than half of the motorcycle accident fatalities. In most of these accidents, a car or truck crashes into the motorcycle from the front. These accidents often occur at intersections when the driver of a vehicle runs a red light or stop sign or rushes to beat the light. Regardless of the cause of the motorcycle accident, head-on collisions are usually deadly and the at-fault driver must be held accountable.
Cars Making Left-Hand Turns
Another common cause of motorcycle accidents in Los Angeles is cars making left-hand turns. The turning vehicle typically strikes the motorcyclist when he or she is going straight through an intersection, passing the car or trying to overtake the car. Although left-hand turn accidents pose a risk for all motorists, bikers are at a greater risk because motorcycles are smaller and less visible to a turning vehicle. In most cases, a driver that hits a motorcyclist will be found at fault for the accident. J&Y Law Firm has a proven track record of successfully pursuing injury claims for motorcyclists injured in left-turn accidents.
Drunk driving is a common cause of all motor vehicle accidents in Los Angeles, including motorcycle accidents. Motorists who operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs pose a risk to other drivers as well as pedestrians. Because drunk drivers have slower reaction times and reduced perception, they pose a greater risk to motorcyclists who, because of their small size are less visible on the roadway.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident that was caused by a drunk driver, J&Y Law can help you recover compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages cover lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, property damage and other losses. Punitive damages are designed to punish the drunk driver and to deter him or her from driving under the influence in the future.
Motorcycle Lane Splitting
Lane splitting is a practice in which motorcyclists drive between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane. Although lane splitting is illegal in many states, a law went into effect in 2017 making lane splitting legal in California. The California Vehicle Code now includes a specific definition of lane splitting:
Driving a motorcycle. . . that has two wheels in contact with the ground, between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane, including on both divided and undivided streets, roads or highways.
While there has long been a debate as to whether lane splitting is safe, numerous research studies show that lane splitting at moderate speeds is safer than riding behind a vehicle. Lane splitting also reduces the risk of rear-end collisions. Nonetheless, lane splitting can lead to motorcycle accidents due to factors such as (1) the close proximity of cars or trucks to the motorcycle, (2) the reduced space in which the motorcycle can maneuver, and (3) drivers not anticipating a motorcycle to pass them in slowed or stopped traffic.
Now that lane splitting is legal in California, motorcyclists who are injured in an accident have a better chance of recovering damages. The motorcycle accident attorneys at J&Y Law have the skills to handle personal injury cases involving motorcycle lane splitting.
Another common cause of motorcycle accidents throughout the state of California is road hazards — debris, uneven road surfaces, small objects, cracks, potholes, wet leaves and wet pavement. While motorcyclists should be aware of such hazards, it may be possible to hold the city, county or state responsible for failing to properly maintain the roads.
Call the Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at J&Y Law
Now that you know the common causes of motorcycle accidents in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California, you can take steps to protect yourself. Of course, all motorcyclists must abide by motorcycle safety rules in the state, starting with wearing a helmet. At the same time, bikers need to be alert at intersections and be aware of drivers making left hand turns. Finally, although lane splitting is legal, drivers are unpredictable; motorcyclists should be especially careful navigating through slowed or stopped traffic.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, J&Y Law Firm can help. We have a proven track record of providing our clients with aggressive legal representation. Our legal team is dedicated to holding negligent and reckless drivers accountable for motorcycle accidents. Call our office today or complete the contact form on our website to set up a free consultation.