Riding a motorcycle is an extremely popular past time but it can also be extremely dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 25 times more likely to be killed in an accident versus other motorists. If you frequently driver along California's roadways, it's important that you be aware of motorcyclists in order to avoid a potentially fatal collision.
The NHTSA estimates that nearly half of all motorcycle accidents involve a collision with another vehicle. The majority of these accidents occur as the result a car or other vehicle turning into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist. This is believed to be caused at least in part to the smaller size of motorcycles, which may be less visible than other vehicles. Under California law, drivers are required to share the road with other motorists, including motorcycle riders. By following these safety guidelines, you can ensure your safety and that of any motorcyclists you may encounter.
Motorcycle Accident Prevention Tips
- Avoid distracted driving. In the state of California, drivers are banned from texting while driving and adult drivers are required to use a hands-free device in order to talk while behind the wheel. While you may think taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds is harmless, encountering a motorcyclist in that brief moment can have devastating consequences.
- Avoid lane sharing. While the state of California permits motorcyclists to "split lanes" when riding in heavy traffic, it's always best to give motorcycle riders as much room as possible. Doing so will ensure that the motorcyclist has enough room to maneuver should they need to avoid another vehicle and it also gives you enough time to stop in order to avoid a collision.
- Always use proper turn signals and pay attention to traffic signs and lights. Avoid making any type of sudden maneuver, particularly if a motorcyclist is riding in the lane behind you, as this can result in an accident. It's also important to look for turn signals or hand signals for motorcyclists traveling in front of you. Use caution when attempting to pass motorcyclists.
- Adjust your speed accordingly when driving in potentially unsafe weather conditions, such as rain, sleet, hail or snow. Don't follow too closely to other vehicles, especially motorcyclists who may need additional time to correct speed or maneuver in less than optimum conditions.
A motorcycle can have a life-changing effect on both the motorcyclist who is injured and the driver who causes the accident. If you're found to be at fault in causing a California motorcycle accident, you may have to pay the victim compensation for their medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. If the accident occurred as the result of substantial negligence on your part, you may also face criminal charges. By following these simple guidelines, you can ensure that you stay safe on the roads.
Nadrich & Cohen, LLP specializes in representing motorcycle accident victims in the San Diego area and throughout Southern California. For more information on filing a motorcycle accident injury claim, call 1-800-718-4658 to begin your free initial case evaluation. There is never a fee unless damages are recovered on your behalf.
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