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Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in California

Motorcyclist on the road, driving on an empty highway with sunset in the background.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is observed in May

In the Bay Area and throughout Northern California, the love of motorcycle riding knows no bounds. With our sunny skies and picturesque routes, it’s no wonder that thousands of motorcyclists hit the road every year. However, as exhilarating as motorcycle riding can be, the roads here also pose serious risks to riders.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which serves as a reminder for all drivers to be extra vigilant on the road and to share the road safely with bikers. According to federal data, California sees a yearly average of over 500 deaths due to motorcycle accidents, with a rate of 59 to 68 fatal crashes per 100,000 registered motorcycles.

Motorcyclists have the right to travel safely. And to help ensure their safety, all drivers must take necessary precautions and be held accountable when they fail to do so. In such cases, a motorcycle accident attorney can provide crucial legal support.

What are the different types of motorcycle accidents?

In California, motorcycles are involved in approximately 15 percent of all fatal traffic accidents annually. Analysis has revealed that many of these incidents are caused by speeding and occur at intersections.

Two of the most prevalent types of motorcycle accidents are when another vehicle turns in front of a bike and when a bike runs off the road to avoid a bigger collision, also known as “laying down,” “dumping,” or “ditching the bike.”

Another common type of motorcycle accident is a sideswipe, frequently caused by drivers failing to check blind spots before changing lanes. Other motorcycle accidents include rear-enders, sudden U-turns or Y-turns by another vehicle, and incidents involving passing by both other drivers and motorcycle riders.

How to avoid hitting a motorcyclist

All drivers have a duty to ensure the safety of others on the roadways. When it comes to avoiding motorcycle collisions, it is crucial for drivers of cars, trucks, and SUVs to exercise extra caution. To minimize the occurrence of accidents between cars and motorcycles, the California Department of Motor Vehicles recommends the following for other motorists:

  • Always check blind spots before entering a major road or changing lanes, using mirrors to attain the fullest possible view.
  • Maintain a following distance of at least 4 seconds from motorcycles. Remember, a motorcycle has a much shorter stopping distance than a car.
  • Where feasible, move over to allow motorcyclists more room when passing.
  • Before turning, assess the speed of any approaching motorcycles to avoid a collision.
  • Before opening car doors while parked or pulled over near moving traffic, look for motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, and other vehicles.
  • Look twice for motorcycles before making a left turn.

Clancy & Diaz stands up for injured bikers

If you or a loved one suffered injuries from a motorcycle accident in the East Bay, it is crucial to take swift action and consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer to review your potential legal options for compensation.

At Clancy & Diaz, LLP, our attorneys have extensive experience representing injured motorcyclists and their families in California. We understand the unique challenges motorcyclists face on the road and are dedicated to helping our clients recover the compensation they deserve for their injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact us today for a free consultation. We are committed to fighting for your rights and holding negligent drivers accountable for their actions. Don't wait — find out what our law firm can do for your potential legal case. We have offices in Walnut Creek, Antioch, and Pittsburg, CA.

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