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How to Be a Safe Driver for Motorcyclists in Los Angeles

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How to Be a Safe Driver for Motorcyclists in Los Angeles - Article Written by M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) released a study in 2017 that analyzed traffic crash data from 2015 through 2017. One of its findings was that motorcyclists cause about 53.3% of injury-causing motorcycle accidents and 72.1% of fatal motorcycle accidents.

But many motorcycle accidents only involve the rider. Once you exclude single-vehicle accidents, a much different picture appears. A significant number of collisions between an automobile and a motorcycle result from an error by the automobile driver.

There are many ways to drive safely to help protect motorcyclists in Los Angeles, California.

How M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident in Los Angeles, CA

How M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident in Los Angeles, CA

The Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorneys at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience handling accident cases. Since its founding in 2013, our firm has helped thousands of clients recover compensation totaling over $400 million.

When you hire our Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers after a motorcycle wreck, we’ll:

  • Investigate the accident, gather evidence, and determine everyone who shares fault 
  • Help you file insurance claims and negotiate with insurance adjusters to get the compensation you deserve 
  • Consult experts if necessary to build your case and understand whether your accident could’ve been prevented 
  • Keep you updated throughout the legal process 
  • Argue your case in a Los Angeles County courthouse if necessary 

Contact or call M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers at (877) 300-4535 to discuss your motorcycle accident and the compensation you can seek for the injuries you suffered.

How Often Are Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Drivers?

While some studies blame motor vehicle drivers for a majority of collisions between motorcycles and automobiles, California provides slightly different statistics. 

The CHP study reports the number of injury-causing and fatal accidents where the fault was assessed to the motorcyclist. But this number captures both single-vehicle accidents and collisions. This study alone cannot tell how many California motorcycle accidents result from driver errors.

While data sources cannot quantify the number of motorcycle accidents in which the automobile driver was at fault, sources do identify how motorcycle accidents happen. 

The CHP study and the Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS) report that Los Angeles had 759 crashes between motorcycles and automobiles in 2021. These crashes caused 887 injuries and 38 fatalities.

Because motorcycles provide little protection for the rider in a crash, motorcyclists can suffer catastrophic injuries. The most common injuries to motorcyclists include upper and lower limb injuries. These injuries happen when the motorcycle tips over and slides.

Brain injuries also happen often, even when the rider wears a helmet. Head injuries can occur when the rider gets ejected from the motorcycle. They can also result from an impact between the rider’s head and the ground or a vehicle.

How to Be a Safe Driver for Motorcyclists in Los Angeles, CA: An Overview

If you cause a motorcycle crash that kills or injures a rider, you will bear liability for the resulting damages. These damages could include medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.

From the information provided by TIMS and the CHP study about the causes of motorcycle accidents, here are a few ways to be a safe driver for motorcyclists in Los Angeles.

Watch for Motorcyclists

Unsafe lane changes and improper turns are two of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. These accidents often happen when drivers fail to spot motorcycles before maneuvering.

Drivers fail to see motorcycles for many reasons, including:

Size

Motorcycles are smaller than cars. Many drivers do not take the time to thoroughly check their blind spots before maneuvering. As a result, they may miss a motorcycle that was sitting in plain sight.

Misjudgment

Most drivers do not ride motorcycles. As a result, they do not understand a motorcycle’s capabilities the same way they might for a car. This lack of familiarity can lead drivers to misjudge a motorcycle’s speed and maneuverability. Another car may slam on its brakes when you cut it off, while a motorcycle could go into a dangerous slide.

The smaller size of a motorcycle can also make it more difficult for a driver to judge the distance between their car and a motorcycle. Drivers judge distance and speed by the relative size of an approaching vehicle, but may have trouble judging the speed and distance of smaller vehicles, like motorcycles.

Cognitive Bias

As the brain collects information, it must filter out unimportant data. Drivers often miss motorcycles because their brains simply do not register them. Drivers may know to watch for cars, SUVs, and trucks. But their brain may miss other things like pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists due to their perceived lack of relevance.

Wait Your Turn

According to TIMS, the most common cause of collisions between motorcycles and automobiles is a failure to yield the right of way. Motorcycle accidents can happen when you try to beat a motorcycle as you merge into traffic or turn at an intersection instead of yielding.

Slow Down

According to the CHP study, the top reason for motorcycle accidents was unsafe speed. For riders, speed can make a motorcycle more difficult to control. For drivers, speed can increase the risk of being unable to stop before hitting a motorcycle.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyers After a Collision

Even when motorcyclists and drivers exercise caution, collisions can still happen. To discuss your motorcycle accident and the injuries you suffered, contact M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation.