Motorcycle accidents can result from a wide variety of factors. While many people assume that riders are typically to blame for their own injuries, the reality is that most motorcycle accidents are caused by factors beyond the rider’s control.
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, determining what caused the crash is essential for identifying the party or parties that are liable for your injuries. An experienced Bakersfield motorcycle accident lawyer can evaluate your case and advise you of your legal options.
10 Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Bakersfield, CA
Motorcyclists in Bakersfield face many of the same risks as riders in other areas of the country. In addition to the negligence of other motorists, it is also important to be aware of the dangers posed by the road and issues with your bike and other motor vehicles.
Here are 10 of the biggest factors that can lead to motorcycle crashes:
1. Distracted Driving
Cell phones and in-car technology have led to a significant increase in distracted driving accidents over the past decade. When drivers are not looking at the road, they are far more likely to cause accidents.
As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explains, “You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.”
2. Failing to Look or Yield
Many motorcycle accidents are the result of drivers failing to look or yield. This is a common factor in highway accidents and accidents at intersections. A careless driver may pull into traffic in front of an approaching motorcycle. The motorcyclist may have little to no time to react, resulting in an accident.
3. Changing Lanes Suddenly or Without Signaling
Sudden lane changes and changing lanes without signaling are common causes of highway accidents as well. Whether a driver who makes one of these mistakes hits a motorcycle directly or leaves a rider with no place to go, the driver will typically be liable for the rider’s injuries.
4. Running a Red Light
Running red lights is extremely dangerous, and drivers who choose to run red lights can leave riders suffering from severe traumatic injuries. Drivers who accidentally run red lights (i.e., because they are distracted or drowsy) can – and should – be held liable for the consequences of their mistakes as well.
5. Running a Stop Sign
Running stop signs is extremely dangerous as well, and it is also extremely common. As a motorcycle rider, you expect drivers to obey the rules of the road, and you act accordingly. If a driver disobeys the rules by entering an intersection out of turn, this can put you in a position where you are helpless to avoid a collision.
6. Driving While Impaired
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, drunk drivers are responsible for more than 1,000 fatal accidents in California each year. While drunk driving puts everyone on the road at risk, it is particularly dangerous for motorcycle riders.
Use of illegal and prescription drugs also impair safe driving ability. As with drunk drivers, a driver who is high on drugs should be accountable if they cause an accident.
7. Driving While Fatigued
Studies have shown that driving while fatigued can be just as dangerous as driving while distracted or driving while impaired. Not only is driving while fatigued against the law in California, but it is also considered a form of negligence for which injured motorcycle riders can seek just compensation.
8. Aggressive Driving
Speeding, tailgating, weaving through traffic, and other forms of aggressive driving are all common causes of motorcycle accidents in Bakersfield and other areas of California. The rules of the road exist for a reason, and drivers who break these rules can be held accountable when their poor decisions lead to motorcycle collisions.
9. Safety Equipment, Motorcycle, and Vehicle Defects
Driver negligence is not the only factor that can lead to dangerous motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle and vehicle defects are common factors as well.
For example, if your brakes (or a driver’s brakes) failed, if your helmet failed to protect you, or if any other issue with your motorcycle, your safety equipment, or another vehicle caused your injuries, you can seek to recover compensation from the manufacturer through a product liability claim.
10. Roadway Defects
Roadway defects can also play a role in causing motorcycle accidents. Potholes, cracks, uneven pavement, low shoulders, blind curves, construction debris, and numerous other road-related issues can cause motorcycle riders to go down.
If your accident was caused by a roadway defect, then you may have a claim against the government agency that is responsible for building or maintaining the road.
Contact a Bakersfield Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Prompt investigation is crucial after any motorcycle accident. By contacting an attorney as soon as possible, you improve the likelihood of identifying the party or parties at fault for your injuries and recovering the compensation you deserve.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, please call The Law Offices of Mickey Fine at (661) 333-3333 today. Your initial consultation with our Bakersfield motorcycle accident lawyer is free.