Motorcyclists face many dangers on California roads. Any accident between a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle can result in devastating injuries with long-term complications. While safe driving practices can help motorcyclists avoid preventable collisions, these accidents can occur for several reasons, including poor weather, dangerous road conditions, and negligent driver behavior.
Unsafe Lane Changes
One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents involve unsafe lane changes. When a driver intends to merge into another lane, he or she must ensure that the roadway is clear before moving over. Unfortunately, a driver may rely on his or her mirrors to ensure the road is clear or fail to check the lane at all. A motorcyclist may be traveling in the driver’s blind spot when he or she is merging, leading to a serious collision.
A parked car can pose an unexpected risk to motorcyclists. In some cases, a driver may open his or her car door into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. The motorcyclist will then collide into the door, leading to very severe, often life-threatening injuries.
Driving Under the Influence
Alcohol and drugs impair many of the essential functions for driving. A driver may experience diminished concentration, motor skills, and judgement. He or she may be unable to focus on the road or react to unexpected situations on the road. As a result, the driver could easily lose control of his or her vehicle, run a red light, or commit another act of negligence that leads to a collision.
Driving over the speed limit increases a vehicle’s risk of collision. If a driver is going too fast, he or she does not have enough time to react to a collision if he or she encounters a hazard on the road. Additionally, the faster that a vehicle is traveling, the greater the impact will be. A motorcyclist can sustain very serious injuries in a high-speed crash.
Motorcycle Part Defects
In some cases, driver negligence may not be responsible for a motorcycle collision at all. A defective motorcycle part, such as an improperly manufactured engine or poorly designed brakes, can cause an accident. A motorcyclist may lose control of his or her bike when an unexpected failure occurs, leading to severe injuries. In these situations, the motorcyclist could file a claim against the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of the defective part.
Dangerous Left-Hand Turns
Many motorcycle collisions occur when a driver makes an unsafe left-hand turn. The driver may run a red light or fail to yield the right of way, colliding with a motorcyclist as he or she travels through an intersection. The driver may attempt to overtake or pass the motorcycle in an unsafe manner, leading to a serious accident. Motorcycles are much smaller than passenger cars, making them more difficult to see and more vulnerable to these left-hand turn collisions.
Poor Road Conditions
Other accidents may involve dangerous conditions on the road itself, such as potholes, cracks, or poorly designed streets. If a motorcyclist encounters these road hazards, he or she can sustain a serious accident without another driver being involved. In these situations, the motorcyclist could file a lawsuit against the government agency responsible for maintaining the road.
If you are in a motorcycle accident, it is important to speak to a California motorcycle accident lawyer. An attorney can represent you in your claim against the government, product manufacturer, or negligent driver. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your accident and optimal path to recovery.