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Top 5 Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

The Most Common Ways Injuries Occur on Motorcycles in LA

Even in sunny Los Angeles (especially that winding Laurel Canyon), spring means the return of motorcycles to the open road. With them come motorcycle accidents. Here are the top five causes of motorcycle accidents—and how you can avoid serious injury while on two wheels.

1. Vehicles Travelling Too Fast

Speed limits aren’t there to cramp your cruise—they’re posted to protect you. When drivers are going too fast, they simply have less time to respond to the twists and turns of the road, other vehicles and unexpected hazards. So, it’s no wonder that speeding vehicles are a top cause of motorcycle accidents in Los Angeles.

You don’t have the power to make other drivers slow down, but you can help keep yourself safe by driving defensively. Always keep an eye out for other vehicles and don’t give drivers the benefit of the doubt.

If a driver is going too fast or does not seem to be paying attention on the Pacific Coast Highway, they probably aren’t. Keep your distance. When you can, keep unsafe drivers in front of you instead of behind you.

2. Drivers Who Don’t Yield the Right of Way

Many motorcycle accidents happen at intersections when drivers don’t yield the right of way to motorcyclists. Motorcycles aren’t as big as other vehicles on the road, so drivers don’t always see them—especially when they’re distracted or a bit tipsy.

Left-turning drivers fail to yield the right-of-way to motorcyclists for many reasons. Sometimes they’re trying to make the light. Other times they’re making an illegal turn. To protect yourself, be extra cautious when you’re approaching an intersection.

3. Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

Drivers who are impaired by alcohol or other drugs are more likely to make bad decisions behind the wheel. Their response time is much slower, and they are less likely to be able to respond in time even when they see motorcyclists in their path.

Drunk driving accidents can be especially damaging for motorcyclists because they don’t have the benefit of the steel frame and seat belts that protect drivers of cars and trucks. They’re exposed and can suffer serious injuries, even when wearing helmets.

There’s no way to protect yourself completely from impaired drivers, but you can avoid being on the road just after bars close and use extra caution when you’re out riding on holidays known for drinking, like Independence Day, or when you’re in an area known for partying. And remember, call a taxi or rideshare if you’ve been out on the town yourself.

4. Driving While Distracted

A car traveling at highway speeds can cover the length of a football field in the amount of time it takes the driver to glance at a text message. In that time, fatal and life-changing accidents can happen.

Beware of swerving vehicles or vehicles driving inappropriately slow, and pay close attention when driving past places like fast-food restaurants. Drivers exiting drive-thrus are often distracted as they leave with their fries.

5. Unsafe Lane Changes

Drivers often fail to see motorcyclists before changing lanes. To protect yourself, don’t travel in a car or truck’s blind spots. Keep your distance to stay safe.

Motorcycle Accidents Can Lead to Serious Injury

If you have been injured, it’s best to talk with a lawyer about your options. Your lawyer can dig into the facts of your case to hold negligent drivers accountable. To learn more, contact our Los Angeles law firm for a free and confidential consultation about your motorcycle accident.