Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles can be a fun, fuel-efficient, and climate-conscious alternative to riding in a passenger car. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are more directly exposed to many of the hazards on California roadways, as well as dangers that are specific to motorcycle riding. Read on for a discussion of some of the more common causes of motorcycle accidents in Southern California. Call a knowledgeable Lancaster auto accident lawyer if you have been injured in a motorcycle crash in the Antelope Valley.
Aggressive driving maneuvers
Lane-splitting or “white-lining” is not explicitly prohibited under California law, but it is nevertheless a dangerous maneuver. Bikers may be tempted to skip heavy traffic by darting in between cars; indeed, many bikers see this as one of the main advantages of riding a motorcycle. The maneuver is risky at the best of times and must be undertaken with care and precision. Moreover, a sudden lane change, left turn, or a door opened by another driver can cause a catastrophic accident for the rider.
Intoxication affects perception, judgment, and the speed of decision-making. Drunk drivers are liable to swerve or change lanes unexpectedly and without signaling or properly checking their blind spots, and they may react too slowly to the sudden presence of a motorcycle. Likewise, intoxicated riders are unable to execute the split-second decision making necessary to avoid a catastrophic motorcycle crash.
Motorcycle riding requires specialized training and expertise. Riders get better over time as they practice and get used to the types of situations they have to deal with as a biker on a California roadway. Safety experts have shown that a significant proportion of bikers injured and killed in traffic accidents had limited experience or were riding without a proper license.
Motorcyclists are directly exposed to sudden, unexpected actions by drivers on the road. Drivers who open their doors unexpectedly, whether stopped in traffic or while moving on a roadway, may trip a motorcyclist or cause them to swerve in an uncontrolled manner. Drivers must be on the lookout for hard-to-see bikers before opening their doors, and if they do so deliberately to injure or intimidate a biker, they may even face punitive damages or criminal liability.
Inclement weather or hazardous roadway conditions
Bikers must be extra careful when riding through a fog, heavy winds, rain, or snow. Lack of visibility or slippery roads pose a serious danger to motorcyclists, as they are more directly exposed to any hazard. Likewise, unexpected roadway hazards such as potholes, cracks, trees, animals, or objects that have fallen from a truck can cause a severe motorcycle accident for an unwary rider.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in California, contact a dedicated and effective Lancaster motorcycle crash attorney about pursuing a claim for damages by calling the Kistler Law Firm at 661-206-6990.