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Motorcycle Accidents in California – Causes & Prevention

Motorcycle-HarleyCalifornia is a popular state for motorcycles, due in large part to the warm temperatures riders can enjoy through most of the year. Unfortunately, the popularity of motorcycles also makes California one of the worst states in the country for motorcycle accidents and fatalities.

Ellis Injury Law has important information for motorcycle riders in California, from the most common reasons accidents occur to the best ways to prevent them.

Causes of motorcycle accidents

According to CaliforniaBiker.org, there are a number of reasons why a motorcycle accident might occur. Hitting gravel or taking a sharp turn too quickly can result in minor injuries if traveling at low speed and much more serious consequences if the bike is moving faster. Vehicle failure and poor road conditions can also be contributing factors in crashes, although these variables are involved in a relatively low percentage of the all the crashes that occur.

RideApart, a website dedicated to motorcycle enthusiasts, warns that many of the more serious motorcycle accidents occur due to circumstances outside the control of the rider. These types of crashes often involve another motor vehicle, with devastating consequences for the victim on the motorcycle. Accidents may be attributed to a car turning or changing lanes in front of a motorcycle or even hitting the motorcycle from behind. The driver of the car may not see the motorcycle or may be distracted at the time of the crash.

Prevention tips

There are steps motorcycle riders can take to lower their odds of getting seriously injured or killed in an accident. CaliforniaBiker says the first rule is to always wear a helmet while riding, since most motorcycle fatalities are due to a head injury. Vigilance is another important prevention tactic and motorcyclists are instructed to always be aware of their surroundings and to make a habit of driving defensively in all situations.

Avoiding alcohol while riding is another essential step, since nearly half of all motorcycle accidents involve alcohol. Of course, following the rules of the road and gaining as much experience on the bike as possible will also help to reduce the risk for an accident.

Common motorcycle crash injuries

Motorcycle riders are much more vulnerable in the event of a crash, leaving them at risk for a variety of potential injuries. The most common areas of the body to be injured in a motorcycle accidents are the head, legs and arms. Around 18 percent of all head injuries result in some type of permanent disability, changing the life of the victim for good. Injuries to the arms and legs often consist of painful consequences like fractures and road rash.

Sadly, motorcycle riders are 32 times more likely to die in a crash than a person in a car. When the rider is injured, the injuries can be catastrophic and life-changing. In 2015 alone, 489 people died in motorcycle crashes in California, according to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association. The only state that saw more motorcycle deaths during that same year was Florida, with 550 fatalities.

Recent accidents in LA

Even within the last couple of weeks, motorcycle crashes in Los Angeles and surrounding areas have made local headlines. Just two weeks ago, a 31-year-old motorcyclist died after crashing his bike off Highway 39 in the Angeles National Forest. Another rider lost his life on the 118 Freeway in Pacoima this month after he was thrown from the vehicle and landed in the road.

Just this weekend, the police chief for Los Angeles, Charlie Beck, suffered a broken pelvis in an off-road motorcycle accident. Beck was riding with friends when he fell and suffered the injury. He is expected to have surgery early this week and should be able to return to work within approximately one week after the procedure.

In the wake of a serious crash, you need to protect your legal rights. Speak with Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers at Ellis Law by calling 1-800-INJURED. Our veteran attorneys can review your claim free of charge and determine if legal action is warranted.