How to Minimize the Risk of Injury as a Motorcyclist in San Bernardino County
Earlier this month, a motorcyclist traveling westbound on the I-215 freeway sustained fatal injuries after being struck by a semi-truck. According to the CHP, the department received calls from other motorists reporting the motorcyclist swerving in and out of traffic prior to the fatal accident. It is still unknown why the rider lost control of the motorcycle before colliding on the I-15 south and I-210 west connector. Once the rider lost control of the bike, he was reportedly ejected from the motorcycle before being run over by the commercial truck.
This is just one of the many accidents involving motorcycle riders that occur each month in southern California. Motorcycle riders are constantly at risk for serious injury and a great part of that is their lack of body protection. Motorcycle riders are not equipped with the same shielding barriers that protect most commuters, and the lack of protection can lead to catastrophic bodily injury.
Here, we take a look at some of the most common reasons behind what causes a motorcycle injury and what you can do to prevent the risk of injury. As a considerate rider, you help minimize the potential of danger and serious injury. You should know, however, that even the most careful riders still suffer injuries caused by careless drivers. If you or someone you know has suffered injury and property damage after being struck by a negligent driver, there may be an opportunity to recover financial compensation.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents & Injuries
If you are a motorcyclist traveling down a California highway, there are three common causes of motorcycle accidents you could encounter:
Dangerous Conditions – Despite recent safety inventions in motorcycles including anti-lock braking systems and traction control, each year many motorcycle accidents still occur due to dangers that exist on the road. Some of these causes include improperly engineered highways, poorly maintained roads, and substances that are spilled onto roads. Dangerous roadway conditions have the potential to catch a fast traveling rider off-guard, ultimately causing serious bodily injury.
Driver Error – Many motorcycle accidents occur when a vehicle operator makes a mistake and ends up in an accident with a motorcyclist. Some of the common mistakes made by automobile operators include distracted driving and inattentiveness, which can result in lane changes without notice. In California, drivers on the road have a reasonable duty of care to ensure the safety of those around them. The failure to be careful or reckless endangerment of others can hold the driver liable when an accident happens.
Faulty Equipment – Accidents can occur when safety equipment fails to operate in the proper manner. In many cases, these accidents involve defective motorcycles that are not properly inspected or cars and other vehicles that have problems with suspension and or brakes along with bald or unbalanced tires. Faulty equipment in motorcycles or other vehicles is a serious issue that can cause unprompted accidents. When an accident occurs, riders should be aware that it could be difficult to determine who is at-fault for the accident.
Advice to Reduce the Risk of Motorcycle Accidents
There are some steps that motorcyclists can take to avoid being involved in a motorcycle accident. Some of these safety precautions include the following:
Do Not Assume Other Drivers Can See You – Motor vehicle operators frequently have a difficult time noticing motorcyclists. It can be even more challenging to notice a motorcyclist in rainy conditions or in areas that drivers are not accustomed to or familiar with.
Never Ride a Motorcycle if You Feel Unsafe – Any motorcyclist who feels that conditions are unsafe should make sure to avoid these dangers and simply not ride the motorcycle. This could be a new rider not comfortable in the rain, or an experienced rider taking on a long journey not knowing about potential road conditions that could interfere with their ability to drive safely.
Prepare for Anything – Motorcyclists should be ready for hazards that can arise on the road by properly preparing their bikes. For example, a motorcyclist who is about to drive in the rain should make sure to anticipate large amounts of water that can be picked up by other fast moving vehicles. Riders should also expect motorists driving slowly and the possibility of having a reduced visibility of other motorists and motorcycle riders alike.
Slow Down While Driving a Motorcycle – Motorcyclists should use the utmost caution when operating their vehicles in the rain. Many serious motorcycle accidents occur each year in the rain involving manhole covers, metal plates, and painted surfaces. Motorcyclists need to remember that while the size and weight of a vehicle can take bumps and hazards in the road, a rider and his or her motorcycle is more likely to be susceptible to these potential hazards.
Use Your Head to a Sufficient Degree – Motorcyclists should always make sure to look over their shoulders as well as utilize both mirrors to remain aware of dangers on the road. The nature of moving traffic leads to endless possibilities of split second changes in surroundings. Constantly being aware of these dangers will go a long way with regard to safety.
Wear Adequate Safety Gear – It is important that motorcyclists wear heavy jackets, helmets, and sturdy boots while riding. In the event of an accident, these protective garments can reduce the seriousness of the injuries sustained.
Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorney Serving Victims in the Inland Empire
Fontana, CA, with its abundance of roadways and freeways, combined with great riding weather almost year round can be dangerous for riders. If you or a loved one has been harmed in a motorcycle accident and another party/motorist is responsible, it is a wise idea to contact a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney. Compensation for damages sustained to person and property are rights of victims in California, but an insurance company simply awarding them is not.
The legal counsel at the Law Office of Justin H. King has the experience to help victims of motorcycle accidents in the Inland Empire. To learn more about personal injury attorney Justin H. King and how he helps motorcycle victims, visit this page here. To schedule a free no obligation consultation and case evaluation, visit his contact page here.