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What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in California?

What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in California?

Motorcycle accidents are more likely to result in a serious injury or fatality. This is mostly due to the dangers that come with riding a two-wheeled vehicle that does not offer much protection. Combine that with inclement weather, unsafe road conditions, and other factors such as distracted or drunk driving, and it is easy to see why riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than driving a car. Today, we look at the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in the state of California.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Quick or abrupt lane changes

This could be a car or another motorcycle that changes their lane quickly without looking or checking their blind spot. In general, motorcycles can be hard to spot, which is why it can be especially dangerous to drive them on the freeway or on streets where the lanes are very close to one another.

Reckless driving

Reckless driving might be speeding, texting and driving, or driving without paying attention the road and its surroundings. Individuals who choose to drive under the influence of medication, drugs, and/or alcohol are also considered reckless drivers.

Running into a car door/parked vehicle

A driver could open their door without looking to see if another vehicle is nearby and hit a motorcyclist. This could also happen to a motorcyclist who is not paying attention to their surroundings as well.


Speeding is one of the major contributing factors to collisions. The faster the car is going, the greater the impact will be if the car hits another vehicle. For motorcyclists, that could be fatal as they are more exposed on a motorcycle than they would be in a car. Also, if the motorcyclist is not wearing the right protective gear or a helmet, he/she could get severely injured or even die.

Driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol

It is never a good idea to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol – even over the counter drugs like Benadryl. Doing so alters your ability to drive a car and focus, which puts everyone on the road, including yourself, in danger. You are also less likely to pay attention to motorcyclists on the road if impaired in this manner.

Sudden stops

Abruptly stopping could hurt you and the other drivers behind you. This is especially true in traffic where cars are close together and drivers are not paying attention the flow of traffic.

Inexperienced drivers

Inexperienced drivers sometimes make minor mistakes that could cause severe damage to other vehicles as well as the individuals driving them. As a new driver, you are also learning to understand space management, which may prove difficult in tight spaces around smaller vehicles like motorcyclists.

Left turn collisions

Motorcyclists often get hit while making a left-hand turn next to another vehicle due to misjudging the space between their car and another.

Dangerous road conditions

Wet roads, snow, ice, and other bad weather conditions all decrease visibility on the road. This makes it more difficult to see motorcyclists and other hazards, such as obstructions and road construction.

Motorcycle Safety Tips

It is important for you to stay safe on the road by ensuring you are wearing protective gear, familiar with the motorcycle you are riding, and have made sure your motorcycle is in good condition before hitting the road.

You should also be an aware driver, wear reflective clothing, drive at or under the speed limit, and pay attention to excessive speeding and other risks.

Hurt in a motorcycle accident? Contact our firm online or call our office at (951) 779-1610 to book a consultation to discuss your case.