Motorcyclists in California face a myriad of dangers on the road, many of which are not in their control and may include the negligence of other drivers.
Southern California motorcycle enthusiasts are extremely fortunate to live in a part of the country where year-round riding is really possible. Whether using a motorcycle to commute to and from work every day or taking the bike out for fun on the weekends, bikers in California can get maximum enjoyment out of their hobby at any time.
However, regardless of what time of year or what type of road is being ridden on, motorcyclists face serious dangers. In addition, a biker is always likely to fare worse in an accident than a person is a passenger vehicle. Therefore, understanding the risks inherent in riding a bike is an important part of staying safe.
Just what are some of the biggest hazards facing motorcyclists in California?
Actions taken by other drivers
According to Autos Cheat Sheet, five out of the top 10 dangers to motorcyclists involve other drivers. Many accidents are caused by vehicles rear-ending bikes whether in stop-and-go traffic or when fully stopped at intersections. This is ranked at number eight on the top 10 list. The number seven spot goes to drivers who fail to fully look before changing lanes, hitting innocent riders in the process.
At number six is a problem that cyclists know all too well-car doors opening and striking the biker. This is an issue for motorcyclists who are in the right-hand lanes along streets with cars parked on the right sides whether at the beach or in the city. The second most dangerous problem for bikers is cars making left turns at intersections. This notorious issue is likely known first-hand to many a motorcycle rider.
Topping the list in the number one position of the most dangerous problems for bikers is the distracted driving in oncoming traffic. While drunk driving continues to plague California, distracted driving has emerged as a serious issue on the roads. This is especially true for motorcyclists who must try to avoid other drivers who are not paying attention to their driving.
Biker fatalities an ongoing reality
In looking at data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it is clear that the risks inherent in riding a motorcycle in California are real. In 2011, 415 bikers died in California. The next three years saw increases in deaths to 447 in 2012, 463 in 2013 and 522 in 2014. The number of fatalities dropped slightly in 2015 to 462 but stayed well higher than the number in 2011.
Taking action is important
When a biker is unable to avoid being hit by another driver, it is important to seek appropriate compensation. Talking to an attorney is always recommended after such an accident. This is part of holding people accountable for their actions.