Riding a motorcycle on the freeways of Los Angeles is a very exhilarating experience, yet many of the reasons it feels so freeing are the same reasons why it can be quite dangerous. Risks inherent in driving—such as potholes, construction hazards, water or ice, and uneven pavement—can cause far more damage to a motorcyclist than a person driving an automobile. Since motorcycles lack many of the safety features of cars, we have seen how motorcyclists can experience severe injuries, even from more minor accidents.
It is important to remember that due to certain prejudices against motorcyclists, many times the police or witnesses will erroneously blame the motorcyclist in a collision with another vehicle. Do not be too alarmed if this happens to you. We offer a free consultation and many times we are able to still obtain a financial recovery for a motorcyclist when they were originally blamed for the accident.
Our California motorcycle accident lawyers have handled motorcycle accident injury and wrongful death cases for many decades. Accordingly, we have seen all sorts of motorcycle accidents, we advise you to drive carefully and below are some of the risks specific to motorcycles, that all motorcyclists should be aware of:
- Less stability: It’s clear that four wheels will always be more stable than just two. Because of this, motorcyclists are more prone to tipping over, skidding, flipping, and swerving. Riders are likely to experience an accident when having to change direction or brake quickly.
- Lack of safety mechanisms: Motorcycles offer no seatbelts, airbags, or other safety features present (and required) in trucks and cars.
- Absence of barrier between motorcyclist and road. Unlike car drivers, motorcyclists lack that huge metal box that surrounds and protects the driver of a car.
- Lower visibility: Because motorcycles are much smaller than cars, other drivers have a harder time spotting them in traffic. For this reason, drivers of automobiles are more likely to accidentally hit a motorcyclist when switching to another lane or turning at an intersection.
- Presence of road hazards: Of course, even cars confront road hazards, yet hazards that would not be an issue to the driver of a pickup truck—such as a pothole—could cause the death of a motorcyclist. Other hazards dangerous for motorcyclists include debris, gravel, slick surfaces, uneven pavement, and road construction.
- Risky behavior: The nature of motorcycles—especially the powerful and lighter models— sometimes encourages riders to engage in speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, wheelies, and other dangerous behavior.
- Unskilled driving. Safety riding a motorcycle requires far more skill than driving a car, and many motorcyclists have not undergone the proper training or lack sufficient experience. Unskilled motorcyclists account for a large percentage of motorcycle accidents, and in 2001, more than 25 percent of all fatal motorcycle accidents involved riders without a license.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused, either fully or partially by another driver, you may have the right to seek compensation through a personal injury claim. If you have a claim, Walch Law will be able to help you.