We have previously written about the dangers motorcyclists face on California roads and highways. In some cases, motorcyclists are their own biggest hazard due to behaviors like speeding, riding without a helmet and riding while intoxicated. That being said, motorcyclists are often at greater risk than drivers even when they ride defensively and obey all traffic laws.
In today’s post, we’ll discuss some of the most common accident scenarios that can be fatal for motorcyclists. One of the most deadly types of motorcycle accidents is also one of the most preventable: left-turn accidents.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, left-turn accidents accounted for 40 percent of two-vehicle fatal motorcycle crashes in 2012. This type of accident occurs when drivers of larger vehicles make a dangerous left-hand turn in the path of an oncoming motorcycle that is going straight.
When a car, truck or van makes this ill-timed turn, the motorcyclist may have no time to slow down or swerve. The result is often a fatal collision with the side of the larger vehicle.
Fatal motorcycle accidents are also commonly caused by dangerous environmental factors including potholes, road debris and pavement that is cracked and uneven. Roads and highways suffer a lot of wear and tear over the years, usually as the result of heavy traffic from cars and trucks. And while potholes, debris and uneven surfaces may pose little hazard to these larger vehicles, motorcyclists can be seriously injured or even killed when their motorcycle rides over them.
As a motorcyclist, you have just as much right to the road as other drivers. Because motorcycles are inherently more dangerous, it is in your best interest to always follow traffic laws and protect your own safety in whatever ways are available to you. If you were seriously injured by the negligence of another driver, you may wish to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can explain your rights and options for pursuing compensation.