California is one of the most dangerous states for motorcyclists. On average, the state has more than 400 motorcycle fatalities each year. And that number doesn’t include the non-fatal injuries that result from motorcycle accidents.
California has more than 750,000 registered motorcyclists. So, it’s not surprising that accidents occur often. But what causes such a high number of crashes among motorcyclists? Here are the five most common reasons for motorcycle accidents:
Hazardous driving conditions
A motorcycle is less stable than most other vehicles. There’s a disadvantage because the motorcycle only has two wheels. It’s easier for a motorcyclist to lose control when a road is bumpy or slick. Extra hazards such as potholes, sand and gravel also pose a threat to a motorcyclist.
Motorcycle parts that need repair or replacement
Motorcycle accidents often occur at high speeds. And if a bike part is defective, it’s more likely to give out when traveling at high speeds. This can result in an accident if the part fails during a ride.
Reckless car and truck drivers
There’s a misconception that accidents with motorcycles are always caused by motorcyclists. But that’s not true. Some motorists are reckless and have little regard for the safety of motorcyclists.
It’s easy to forget that motorcycles have a short stopping distance. If a motorcyclist throws on brakes in front of a car, the car probably won’t stop in time. Likewise, a car stopping without warning in front of a motorcyclist is likely to cause a crash.
Unexpected lane changes
Motorcyclists are often hit when motorists make sudden lane changes. For example, a motorist can jump over into a lane that already has a motorcyclist. If the motorist isn’t paying attention, they can run the motorcyclist off the road or crash into it. This is why it’s important to check the lane before moving over.