What Are Some Common-Sense Tips to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycles are incredibly popular in California and throughout the United States. While these vehicles can be very fun to operate, it’s vital for every motorcycle owner and rider to understand the very real dangers of a motorcycle accident. Learning how to physically handle a motorcycle is just one part of staying safe on the road. It is also vital to know the most common reasons motorcycle accidents happen, so you know how to avoid them.
What Is the Most Common Cause of Motorcycle Accidents?
Data gathered by various state and federal agencies can help motorcyclists understand the risks they face on the road. According to available data, the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Speeding.Traveling at excessive speeds is dangerous for any driver, but speeding is especially perilous for motorcyclists who have very little protection from the force of a crash.
- DUI. Driving under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs continues to be a problem throughout the country. Motorcycle accidents can happen from DUI when motorcyclists operate their bikes under the influence as well as when intoxicated drivers strike motorcyclists.
- Lane-splitting. This term is often applied to two motorcycles riding side-by-side in the same lane, as well as instances of motorcyclists passing between lanes of slower-moving traffic. While the practice is technically legal in California, it can be very dangerous in many situations. Motorcyclists should only attempt this maneuver when they are sure it is as safe as possible to do so and only with suitable experience.
- Sudden stops. Motorcycles are quite maneuverable, but if a vehicle in front of a motorcycle comes to a sudden stop, the motorcyclist may not have time or room to stop before crashing. Additionally, if a motorcyclist mistakenly stops too suddenly, the stopping force can potentially throw them over the handlebars or cause them to lose control.
- Inexperience. Operating a motorcycle requires coordination and practice. Inexperienced motorcyclists must use extreme caution at all times as they build their handling skills.
These are just a few of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents throughout California and the United States. Knowing these common causes is the first step you can take toward preventing motorcycle accidents from happening.
What Percentage of Motorcycle Riders Have Accidents?
It is difficult to determine the exact chances of any particular motorcyclist experiencing an accident. However, available data does indicate that motorcycle accidents are much more likely to cause injuries or deaths than standard passenger vehicle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 80% of all motorcycle accidents result in death or serious injury.
The reason for this is the basic construction of a motorcycle; there is no motorcycle that offers any reliable physical protection from crash impact forces, nor do motorcycles have safety features like seatbelts or airbags.
Who Is at Fault in Most Motorcycle Accidents?
Available accident data shows that only about 40% of motorcycle accidents are the fault of the motorcyclist. Motorcycle accidents can happen for many of the same reasons as other car accidents, such as inattention, speeding, DUI, and poor road conditions. However, there is a misconception that motorcyclists are inherently irresponsible when the reality is that most motorcycle accidents occur due to the actions of other passenger vehicle drivers.
At What Speed Do Most Motorcycle Accidents Happen?
Driving at excessive speed is dangerous for any driver, but this is especially true for motorcycles. While high-speed collisions involving motorcycles can and do happen, available traffic crash data indicates that most motorcycle accidents occur at an average speed of about 30 miles per hour.
How Can I Avoid Motorcycle Accidents?
If you own a motorcycle in San Diego and want to limit your risk of experiencing a serious accident, there are several steps you can take to reduce the chances of such an accident occurring:
- Invest in a professional motorcycle training and safety course. While it’s necessary to complete a practical exam to obtain your motorcycle license, this test will only cover basic handling and rider safety to ensure the rider is capable and responsible enough to qualify for a motorcycle license. However, further practical training and safety education can make a novice rider into a safer, more experienced rider.
- Eliminate distractions. All motorcyclists should be vigilant at all times while riding through the San Diego area. Distracted driving is extremely dangerous for any driver, but motorcyclists are especially vulnerable when they do not pay full attention to the road.
- Never drive under the influence. Not only is DUI illegal, but it is also one of the most common causes of the most severe motorcycle accidents in San Diego.
- Maintain your motorcycle. Be sure to address any mechanical issues with your bike as soon as possible, so they do not become serious hazards on the road.
- Invest in high-quality safety gear. California requires all motorcyclists to wear a Department of Transportation-approved and appropriately fitted helmet. Riders should also wear heavy boots, gloves, long pants, and protective jackets.
- Ride defensively. Defensive driving concepts apply just as much to motorcyclists as they do to passenger vehicle drivers. Defensive driving means operating your bike at reasonable speeds, staying aware of your surroundings, and keeping your distance from potentially dangerous drivers around you.
Following these tips can potentially prevent a serious motorcycle accident or at least limit your risk of experiencing such an accident. In the event you do suffer injuries from a motorcycle accident that someone else caused, an attorney can help you determine your best available options for legal recourse.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
Even a seemingly straightforward motorcycle accident case can cause devastating damages. An experienced San Diego motorcycle accident attorney can help you determine who is at fault for your recent motorcycle accident and assist you in exploring your legal options for recovery. At the Law Offices of Susan Handel, we understand that any accident can have serious consequences for you and your family. If you believe another driver is responsible for your recent motorcycle accident, we can help. Contact the Law Offices of Susan Handel today and learn more about your legal options for recovery.