Southern California ranks as the most dangerous region of the state for motorcyclists. Its year-round pleasant weather for riding, combined with severe traffic congestions and gridlocks throughout Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, make for a higher likelihood of accidents involving motorcycles.
Traffic deaths among bikers in Southern California have risen significantly over the past two decades with such frequency that those deaths are barely reported, lest they disrupt traffic.
The dangers of riding a motorcycle are well-known, yet many riders fail to properly equip themselves with the protective gear that has been shown to reduce fatalities and injuries in a collision. Helmets are 67% more effective at preventing traumatic brain injuries, and other clothing worn over the body drives down the severity of injuries elsewhere on the body.
What causes motorcycle accidents?
Motorcyclists face a number of scenarios that put them at risk of crashing with other vehicles on the roads. In California, it’s legal for motorcycles to engage in what’s called “lane splitting,” where the rider can strategically weave in and out of gridlocked or slow traffic to gain a positional advantage.
When properly executed, this is considered by some to be a safer approach, since it prevents cars from rear-ending or overtaking the bike and clears the rider from congested danger zones sooner.
However, other vehicles may not know to anticipate a lane-splitting biker, and may themselves abruptly pull out in front of a perfectly legal biker approaching their vehicle from the side.
Other potential causes of collisions include:
- Driving under the influence, including bikers and motorists
- Hazardous or unpredictable objects in the road
- Head-on collisions
- Left-hand turns
Often, these accidents are caused by the other driver, because motorcycles have such a different profile and presence than the cars and larger vehicles many drivers spend more time looking out for.
Always be aware of the more vulnerable points on the road while staying alert and driving defensively. Doing so can save your life.
If you are injured in an accident, please call 877-PAYAMLA for a free consultation.