Motorcycles are inherently unstable. Without the gyroscopic effect created while the motorcycle is in motion, it will fall over. This fact makes motorcycles especially sensitive to road dangers.
Road dangers include more than potholes. They also include traffic and natural conditions that increase the risk of a motorcycle crash.
Here are some common road dangers for motorcyclists in California and the legal options you may have for personal injury compensation after a motorcycle crash. Contact the Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers or call (877) 300-4535 if you’ve sustained injuries in a collision.
How M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident in Los Angeles, CA
M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers frequently represent clients in Los Angeles and surrounding areas after a motorcycle accident. Our firm’s lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience and have recovered over $400 million in injury compensation on behalf of our clients.
We’ve been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and Avvo for our excellent client service.
When you hire our award-winning Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorneys, we’ll:
- Investigate your accident and determine who could be liable for your damages
- Communicate with insurance companies and others on your behalf
- Fight against tactics that serve to undervalue or deny your motorcycle accident claim
- Consult leading experts to build your claim for damages
- Take your case to trial if necessary
To discuss your motorcycle accident case and the compensation you can seek for your injuries, contact M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 94% of traffic accidents result from driver error. Only 2% are due to vehicle malfunctions, while another 2% result from road and weather conditions and 2% have an unknown cause.
In a recent annual report, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) reported 12,926 motorcycle injury accidents. The OTS also reported 451 fatal motorcycle accidents. Applying the NHTSA’s statistics to California’s crash report leads to an estimate of about 258 accidents resulting from road dangers.
The OTS also reported that motorcyclists were at fault in 53% of motorcycle injury accidents. This means that 47% of these accidents were not the fault of the injured motorcyclist. However, the OTS did not report the number of motorcycle accidents in which road dangers played a part.
Overview of Common Road Dangers for Motorcyclists
Road dangers cover anything besides operator errors and mechanical failures, including:
- Road hazards
- Traffic hazards
- Weather and natural hazards
These dangers can happen unexpectedly, forcing motorcyclists to collide into a hazard or swerve and risk a slide.
What Are the Common Road Dangers for Motorcyclists in California?
Road dangers can limit a motorcyclist’s maneuverability, balance, traction, or control of the motorcycle. As a result, the motorcyclist can go into a slide or crash into an object or vehicle.
Road Dangers from Traffic Conditions
California has a lot of traffic. Unsurprisingly, traffic congestion is one of the most significant road dangers for motorcyclists.
The state has recognized the risks posed to motorcyclists by heavy traffic. California allows motorcyclists to perform lane-splitting maneuvers in slowed or stopped traffic. Lane-splitting reduces the risk of rear-end collisions as the motorcyclist moves between lanes of stopped or slowing cars.
Traffic also increases the risk of lane change accidents. Drivers have trouble spotting motorcyclists due to the smaller size of motorcycles and a cognitive bias in favor of cars and trucks.
Heavy traffic can crowd vehicles into tight spaces, making lane changes riskier for motorcyclists since they have nowhere to swerve when cars move into their lanes.
Road Dangers from Road Conditions
Road conditions can pose a danger to motorcyclists. California has a lot of roads, highways, and freeways to maintain. Governments cannot fix every road hazard right away.
Some road hazards that can affect a motorcyclist’s balance or control include:
- Poor lighting
- Unmarked curves or merges
- Blind driveways and alleys
- Potholes, uneven lanes, and other surface defects
- Unmarked speed bumps
- Road gaps, bridge gaps, and railroad tracks
- Low branches
- Construction equipment, signs, and workers
- Objects on the road
One danger for motorcyclists comes from road debris. When trucks drive with unsecured loads, objects can fall onto the road or even fly toward a motorcyclist. Since the motorcyclist has no passenger compartment for protection, the object could injure the rider and cause the motorcycle to crash.
Road Dangers from Natural Conditions
California has fairly good weather conditions. But occasionally, weather or other natural conditions can create road dangers for motorcyclists.
Some natural dangers include:
- Ocean spray
Another natural condition, wildfires, has become an increasingly common road hazard for motorcyclists. Fires create smoke, obscuring the rider’s view. A firestorm can also sweep across a road, burning everything in its path.
What Injuries Typically Happen in a Motorcycle Accident Caused By Road Dangers?
Road-related motorcycle accidents usually cause the same types of injuries as collisions. Road dangers can send a biker into a slide, resulting in injuries to the feet, legs, and hips. Road rash, burns, and leg fractures can result from a slide.
Since motorcycles do not have seat belts, motorcyclists have a high risk of getting ejected. This can result in injuries to your hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders when you try to catch yourself as you land. If you cannot catch yourself, you could injure your head, neck, or spine.
Who Bears Liability for Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Road Dangers?
In many situations, motorcycle accidents due to road dangers have no at-fault party. In other cases, you might have someone to blame for the road danger.
Some examples include:
- Trucking companies with unsecured loads
- Designers and owners of private roads and parking lots
- Local or state government agencies responsible for maintaining roads and signs
- Construction companies directing traffic around construction sites
The entities liable for your road danger motorcycle accident will depend on the circumstances of your accident.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Los Angeles After a Collision Caused By Road Dangers
To discuss your motorcycle accident resulting from road dangers, contact M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. We’ll help you identify the liable parties to get you back on your feet after your devastating collision.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation, so call now to schedule yours.