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The Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Understand the Most Common Causes of Accidents and How to Avoid Them

Since motorcyclists are so much more likely to be injured in a roadway accident than their four-wheeled affiliates, it’s important to be knowledgeable of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. Understanding the common causes of motor vehicle accidents can help you keep yourself out of situations where they might occur.

Grey Law has a team of experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyers you can trust with your accident claims. Following an accident, you will have medical bills, property damage to your bike, and you may even have to take time off work, which is why it’s important to get an attorney involved so that you can get maximum compensation from the other driver.

Although a lawyer may help you get compensation following an accident. However, being as safe as possible, when you can, can avoid the need for hiring one.

Drinking While Riding

Drinking alcohol can and will affect your judgment, reaction time, balance, and the coordination required to shift gears. It is very dangerous to ride a motorcycle when you are not sober, as it impairs your senses.

Alcohol was found in the blood of about 46% of motorcyclists involved in serious to fatal accidents. It is not just the standard .08% BAC you need to avoid; a BAC as little as .05% can impair a motorcycle rider. Drinking while riding should be avoided entirely, as a BAC of .05% can increase your likelihood of being in an accident by 40%.


Most people who own bikes have a need for speed, but this is also what can put them at risk. Speeding increases injury severity. Higher speeds give riders less reaction time and make them more likely to lose control of their bike. Riders are also more likely to speed while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which makes for a deadly combination.

Going the speed limit is crucial to maintaining both your safety, and the safety of others.

Head-On Collisions

A head-on collision occurs when the front end of a motorcycle collides with the front end of a car going the opposite direction, and they account for 76% of two-vehicle auto crashes. Two objects moving in opposite directions cause the greatest amount of force when colliding, so you could easily guess that these crashes cause severe injuries or even death.

Head-on collisions can result in broken bones, internal bleeding, traumatic brain injuries, head and neck injuries, and spinal cord injuries. All of these injuries require a trip to the emergency room, and some may even result in death.

Being proactive can help you avoid this kind of deadly crash. Avoid speeding so that you have more time to react when you come across danger. Slowing down is also helpful in low-visibility conditions. Maintaining alertness is also key, as you can spot erratic driving or an out-of-control vehicle faster and steer clear.

Lane Splitting

When stuck in traffic, it may be tempting to drive between lanes, and a motorcycle’s small frame makes it easy to weave between cars. However, the close proximity to the other cars gives you reduced space to maneuver, which is dangerous when going at a higher speed.

While lane splitting is legal in the state of California, it can cause an accident when not done safely. The motorcyclist should only go a maximum of 10 MPH faster than the cars around it, and you should never lane split if cars are traveling faster than 30 MPH.

Road Hazards

Motorcyclists are much more susceptible to the elements than those driving cars. Uneven pavement, railroad tracks, potholes, road debris, and wet pavement can all contribute to a severe collision.

It’s not uncommon for heavily-used city roads to be in disrepair, but even construction work and resurfacing efforts can be detrimental to a motorcyclist. Uneven texture and cracks can easily throw a two-wheeled vehicle off-balance, so if you know the area well enough to know where the run-down roads are and where construction is taking place, a cyclist accident lawyer in Los Angeles recommends to avoid those areas entirely.

Wet roads due to rain or snow are also dangerous, as the precarious balance needed to ride a motorcycle can be thrown off by sliding or hydroplaning. This can be especially difficult on winding roads. Motorcyclists should also look out for leaves, dirt, dust, and oil.

Steps to Protect Yourself

In addition to avoiding unsafe riding conditions and situations, a lawyer will recommend buying high-quality safety gear to protect your body in the event of a crash. Wear a helmet and proper clothing to protect your body from the impact of the road and any other objects with which you may collide.

Additionally, hiring a trusted firm, like Grey Law, will prove valuable when making an injury claim. Scheduling a consultation strengthens your case, and gets you on the right path to compensation following your accident.

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