According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), there were 565 motorcycle operators killed in California traffic accidents in 2021. Motorcycle accidents can happen anywhere, but certain locations pose a higher risk for riders. Understanding the common hotspots for accidents and the common reasons they occur is crucial for both motorcyclists and other road users.
How Likely Are Motorcycle Accidents?
The likelihood of motorcycle accidents varies based on several factors, including rider experience, adherence to safety measures, and environmental conditions. Statistics reveal that motorcyclists are about 30 times more at risk of being killed in a crash than those in passenger vehicles.
The exposed nature of motorcycles leaves riders more vulnerable and susceptible to catastrophic injuries in a motorcycle accident. Rider behavior also plays a crucial role. Those who engage in high-risk behaviors such as speeding, weaving between vehicles, or riding without appropriate protective gear are more likely to experience traffic accidents.
Places Where Most Motorcycle Accidents Commonly Occur
While motorcycles offer a sense of freedom on the open road, certain places pose higher risks for motorcycle crashes. More motorcycle accidents tend to occur in states with warmer climates, like California. Common locations where motorcycle crashes happen include the following:
One of the most common locations for motorcycle accidents is intersections whether in an urban or rural area. Most fatal motorcycle accidents occur on non-interstate roads. Intersections can pose challenges for motorcyclists due to varying speeds, multiple lanes, and complex traffic signals. Accidents often occur when drivers fail to notice motorcycles. Left-turn accidents are also common at intersections and occur in about 22% of all traffic accidents annually.
High speeds and dense traffic on freeways increase the risk of accidents for motorcyclists. When motorcycle riders merge into a new lane or a freeway entrance they can also collide with motor vehicles. Lane changes, sudden stops, and congestion can all contribute to motorcycle accidents.
Though scenic, two-lane roads can be particularly dangerous for motorcyclists. The roads are much smaller because there are only 2 lanes of traffic that each go in a different direction. Unpredictable obstacles, blind turns, the lack of median barriers, and limited visibility can lead to motorcycle accidents. Therefore, it’s crucial to be extra cautious on these kinds of roads.
Why Do Most Motorcycle Accidents Happen?
Understanding high-risk behaviors associated with auto accidents is vital for all road users.
Excessive speeds reduce reaction time and increase the severity of accidents. Motorcyclists and motorists alike should adhere to speed limits and adjust their speed based on the road conditions. About 50% of all traffic fatalities occur during nighttime. When driving at nighttime or in inclement weather, it’s crucial to reduce your speed.
Motorcycles are much smaller than passenger vehicles. Motorcycle accidents caused by a driver who did not see the motorcycle or wasn’t checking their blind spots are unfortunately common. Motor vehicle drivers must actively look for other road users and take extra care in high-traffic areas.
Riding Without Protective Gear
Failing to wear protective gear, such as helmets and appropriate clothing, significantly increases the risk of injury or fatality in the event of a crash. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), motorcycle helmets are about 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries for motorcycle riders and 41% effective for motorcycle passengers.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving or riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs judgment and coordination, increasing the likelihood of crashes. Each day 37 people lose their lives due to drunk driving accidents across the US.
When motorists weave between other vehicles, tailgate, and exhibit other aggressive maneuvers it significantly increases the risk of accidents.
Fatalities and Injuries by Age Group
Young Riders (18-25)
Younger riders often engage in riskier behaviors, contributing to a higher rate of accidents in this age group. Education and awareness campaigns targeted at this demographic can be effective.
Middle-Aged Riders (26-45)
This age group represents a significant portion of motorcycle enthusiasts. This age group is often associated with factors like increased disposable income, leading to the purchase of high-performance bikes.
Older Riders (46 and above)
While experience can mitigate certain risks, older riders may face challenges such as decreased reaction time and physical limitations. More experienced motorcycle riders should still consider taking a motorcycle safety course to refresh their motorcycle riding skills. Ongoing training and awareness are crucial for maintaining motorcycle safety.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Here are common motorcycle accident injuries:
- Head Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Fractures and Broken Bones
- Road Rash
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Damage to internal organs (liver, kidneys, spleen)
- Internal bleeding
- Burn Injuries
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Neck Injuries
Benefits of Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
When involved in a motorcycle accident, seeking legal representation can be crucial. A motorcycle accident lawyer can offer the following benefits:
- Personal injury attorneys who specialize in motorcycle accident cases understand the nuances of personal injury law and local laws.
- Personal injury lawyers have the resources to conduct thorough investigations and gather strong evidence to support your case. This can include obtaining police reports, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing medical records.
- A motorcycle accident lawyer will negotiate with the other party’s insurance company on your behalf and fight for maximum compensation.
Get a Free Consultation Today
Motorcycle accident victims often deal with serious injuries, costly medical bills, and pain and suffering. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle crash, it’s essential to know your legal options. A free consultation with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can provide clarity on your situation and help you understand your options.
At Rose Accident Lawyers, we are dedicated to helping motorcycle accident victims obtain justice. Call our Pasadena personal injury law firm today to schedule a free case evaluation. During the free initial consultation, an experienced personal injury lawyer will assess the viability of your case. If you have any concerns or questions about the legal process, we can address them during the consultation.