Motorcycles are very popular in California. According to an estimate, there are more than 800,000 registered motorcyclists in this state. In fact, California has repeatedly come top of the list among all U.S. states with the most registered motorcycles. The perception towards motorcycles is changing. This vehicle consumes considerably less fuel, challenges social perceptions, is easy to park, and costs much less than a car. All these factors make motorcycles very appealing.
Unfortunately, motorcycles have their own set of risks associated with them. A collision or a crash will be far more devastating for a motorcyclist than a car driver as motorcyclists are more exposed. All drivers must make an effort to avoid accidents. Learning the common causes of motorcycle crashes is the first step to avoiding them.
1. Front-End Collision
The majority of the deaths in motorcycle-car accidents occur because a car collides front-end into the motorcycle. Motorcycle drivers usually get the short end of the stick in such collisions because they are less protected. In fact, less than 5% of such casualties occur from a motorcycle colliding with a car in itsrear-end.
2. Careless Left-Turn by the Cars
It is very dangerous for motorcyclists when car drivers make a left turn in front of them without giving them space. According to an estimate, more than 40% of all motorcycle crashes occur from a car’s careless left-hand turn.
3. Careless Lane Splitting by Motorcyclists
Car drivers are not always at fault. Some motorcycles have a habit of driving in the narrow space between two lanes of cars. This act of line-splitting is legal in many places in California. But it is still a very dangerous practice. When car drivers suddenly change the lane, they run right into the motorcyclist beside or behind them.
Many experts consider over speeding to be the root cause behind the majority of road accidents. High-speed travel makes reaction time slower. Motorcyclists have less protection, making them more vulnerable to casualties from high-speed accidents.
5. Amateur Handling of the Sports Motorcycles
High-performance or supersport motorcycles are four times more likely to end in a fatal crash than ordinary motorcycles. These superbikes have a skewed power to weight ratio, making them hard to control. Riders must be careful handling them and try not to fly with the wind on their first ride.
6. Driving Distractions
Car drivers often engage in texting or talking over the phone when driving. Motorcycles are harder to spot in traffic, making them an easy target for distracted car drivers.
7. Driving Under the Influence
Alcohol plays a significant role in motorcycles accidents. Almost 30% of all motorcycles crashes involve drunk drivers. DUI can be fatal for both motorcycle and car drivers.
8. Road Hazards
Cars are sturdier and more balanced than motorcycles. That’s why certain road hazards are not as dangerous for them as for motorcycles. Slick pavements are an easy recipe for slipping. Objects in the roadway are harder to avoid and swerve around. Potholes rattle the motorcycles too much. Motorcyclists should be especially wary of road hazards.
Most drivers are at risk as soon as they step forth on the road. But if they follow the law, focus on safe driving and give space, they will have a safe trip. Avoid the causes above, and you will learn to appreciate the freedom that motorcycle rides bring.