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How Common are Motorcycle Accidents in California?

May 7, 2024 
by LA Injury Group

How Common are Motorcycle Accidents in California? Due to the huge number of motorcycles in California, there are inevitably bound to be accidents on the road. The causes of the accident vary from one incident to another and from one driver to another. While some of these motorcycle crashes can result in minor injuries, certain accidents result in motorcycle fatalities, serious injuries, and in certain cases life-long injuries. While some of the injuries can be immediate, certain injuries shall take time to manifest themselves. It follows from this that it is extremely necessary that victims of motorcycle accidents or any other form of motor vehicle crash must always ensure that they are examined as soon as they are involved in a motorcycle accident. Additionally, consulting a motorcycle accident lawyer promptly can be crucial in ensuring that legal rights are protected and compensation is pursued effectively.

Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in California

Based on the preceding, motorcycle accidents are attributed to a variety of factors, which are summarized below.[1]

How Common are Motorcycle Accidents in California

How Common are Motorcycle Accidents in California? - Huge Traffic Intensity:

A huge traffic base is one of the causes of motorcycle accidents. The traffic congestion that is witnessed in various cities has been the major cause of motorcycle accidents in California. As a result of the said congestion, it is always difficult to traverse through such high traffic congestion. This would be less when no traffic congestion is witnessed on the highways. It follows from this that motorcyclists in California should be extremely careful when dealing with roads that have huge traffic. The presence of huge traffic makes it very difficult to navigate the road. It follows from this that bikers should ensure that they are on constant watch for possible dangers that may arise in heavy traffic.

Inter-lane Usage by Motorcycles:

Motorcycles are permitted to traverse between traffic lanes when traffic is static in California. Evading traffic through this method of navigation may seem convenient in most instances, but it is highly risky in equal measure. The accidents that are bound to take place are a resultant proximal cause between motorcycles and vehicles. It should be noted that motorcyclists should exercise great caution when moving from one lane to another. If it is evident to the motorcyclists that there is little chance of succeeding in making lane changes, the motorcyclists should wait for a time that it shall be safe to do so. Engaging in risky behavior can result in massive property damage, serious injuries, and, in some instances, death.[2]

Atmospheric Conditions:

Unfavorable weather conditions could cause cyclists to be unaware since the same are unpredictable in California. Bad weather conditions could hamper visibility for cyclists, which, to a great extent, may cause harm. It should be noted that when it turns very rainy or stormy, the chances of being able to see what is ahead of you and the things that are behind the cyclists are greatly reduced. It is advisable not to ride a motorcycle if there is near-zero visibility. It should further be noted that slippery roads can cause huge motorcycle accidents as the bike’s grip on the road will be severely affected. The lack of preparation and ambush in changing weather conditions may pose a great risk to the motorcyclists.

Incompetent Cyclists:

Cyclists have diverse levels of expertise as far as cycling is concerned. Amateur cyclists have basic riding skills and are at a high risk of exposure to accidents. Lack of competence could lead to such accidents since navigating through the complex road networks in California can be challenging.

Distractions when Cycling:

It should be noted that distractions when driving a motorcycle can be a great danger to motorcyclists and other road users. The presence of distractions ensures that there is little reaction time for those who are riding motorcycles, as they may be greatly hampered when making decisions that could otherwise save their lives and those who are on the road.  Distracted driving is, therefore, a grave danger to motorcyclists.[3]

Low Vision:

Motorcycles are relatively small compared to other vehicles, making them greatly prone to accidents. As a result of being slightly small in size, cyclists are made susceptible to being hit by larger vehicles. Because of the low vision, there must be great care when driving the motorbikes. If the vision is greatly affected, motorcyclists should avoid driving the motorbikes at a very high speed. High speeds result in situations where the motorbike rider is unable to be in total control of the motorbike.

Poor Road Maintenance:

Poor road conditions, changes in topography, potholes, and road debris are perfect causes of motorcycle accidents in California. Where there are such poor road conditions, chances are high that motorcycle accidents are likely to occur. Furthermore, cyclists’ lack of road use experience is also another cause of motorcycle accidents in California.

Cyclists should learn how to navigate such roads to ensure that they are not unaware of accidents resulting from such poor road conditions.

Ways of Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents

Fatal accidents in California that involve motorcyclists increase every day. California motorcycle accident statistics indicate that motorcycle accident fatalities could be avoided if care and caution were exercised when one was driving a motorcycle. Most of the motorcyclists killed either did not have enough protective gear or blatantly ignored traffic laws and regulations. It should also be noted that motorcycle crash statistics indicate that motorcycle accident injuries increased during the last year. These traffic fatalities could be avoided if the factors causing these fatal crashes were addressed. These motorcycle collisions would often result in severe injuries. It is, therefore, necessary and incumbent for the state authorities and road users to ensure that the national motorcycle accident statistics start indicating that motorcycle accident fatalities have started going down. To do this, the following must be done:

Advanced Education for the Cyclists:

Varied topographical conditions in California call for a proper grasp of how to navigate the terrains of California. To combat such accidents and related causes from predisposing cyclists to the dangers of road accidents, training cyclists is the only safe way to ensure that their road safety is guaranteed. 

Education of the General Public:

Road usage in California is not limited to only cyclists and other motorists but to the general public as well. Every road user needs to be educated and made aware through campaigns to know that road safety is a priority. In so doing, motorcycle accidents are likely to be reduced by great margins.  

 Demystifying Myths and Misconceptions in Cycling Accidents

Myths and misconceptions do often arise as far as road usage is concerned, wherein other road users view cyclists as minor and demean them. The beginning of the reduction of accidents associated with cycling is to deconstruct such myths as a matter of urgency.

Ensuring that the motorcycle riders concentrate when driving.

Disturbance while driving is mostly attributed to phone usage while driving. Cyclists are at the receiving end, particularly when there is distracted driving of vehicles. Cyclists are subjected to accidents as a result of chatting using the phone, calling, or making any other form of communication. Seeking to cure this mischief is one way of ensuring that such accidents are capped.

Use of safety gear

As mentioned earlier, road usage in California is not limited to only cyclists and other motorists but to the general public as well. Every road user needs to be educated and made aware through campaigns to know that road safety is a priority. In so doing, motorcycle accidents are likely to be reduced by great margins. Public education and awareness are key in ensuring that safety is treated as the top priority. The use of safety gear and protective attire should be emphasized to ensure that the levels of accidents are lowered.

Proper Road Maintenance

Addressing road infrastructure issues, such as improving road surfaces, signage, and visibility, can contribute to overall road safety. Creating designated motorcycle lanes and implementing measures to reduce congestion in urban areas may also help mitigate the risk of accidents. The same helps in ensuring that most accidents are avoided before they occur. This is a preventive measure that ensures that the safety of cyclists is enforced.[4]

Related FAQs

At what point should I talk to the other Party's Insurance Company?

You might need to contact such companies in rare cases where the other driver is obviously to blame but has refused to reach out to their insurance provider. They may be ignorant of the events leading up to the collision, the severity of your injuries, or the extent of the car damage. In this case, you can forfeit a settlement if you don't contact the other driver's auto insurance provider.

The other driver's insurance company should ideally be contacted by a representative of your insurance provider. However, this isn't always the case, particularly in cases when the accident was minor. Therefore, it may be your responsibility to inform others about the accident. But you'll have to exercise extreme caution about the details you provide and any information you may wish to share in such instances.

When should you not engage with the Opposing Side Insurance Company?

·       You have had any serious injuries, such as fractured bones, that required an overnight hospital admission or any persistent medical conditions.

·       You require medical care exceeding two thousand dollars.

·       More than one or two days off from work, school, or regular activities were required.

·       The question of who is at fault is up for debate.

·       Multiple individuals sustained injuries.

·       The insurance provider is exerting undue pressure or persistence.

·       You're unclear or perplexed about what happened.

You need an attorney who can provide you with advice in these kinds of scenarios.

Our purpose is to assist you. We answer our phones for the whole day. Contact us asap.

What are the Do's and Don'ts while Engaging the Other Party's Insurance

The initial point you should know is that the other driver's insurance company's main objective is to make the smallest payout possible. The business won't prioritize your needs. It seeks proof of your responsibility or the insignificance of your losses and injuries. Thus, you should not claim that everything is well with you or your car.

Even if you think what you are stating is accurate, accidents and car issues don't always manifest themselves right away, and sometimes injuries turn out to be more serious than you initially believed.

Try to refrain from mentioning anything that would allow them to withhold payment from you or lower the amount you are requesting.

Furthermore, avoid giving out information and limit your response to the subject posed. In the days following the event, your feelings and knowledge may shift. Your body will initially be overflowing with stress hormones like adrenaline, which could impair your judgment or conceal discomfort.

Refuse to consent to having your statement captured, whether verbally or in writing. This is done to force you to accept a version of what occurred that will eventually make your claim less valuable.

Additionally, avoid guessing or speculating about any information. Saying that you don't know is acceptable.

Which Information Should I not Share with the Other Party's Insurance Company?

After discussing what not to say, let's talk about what one may say.

• Get the full description of the individual whom you are speaking with, as well as the details of the insurance company, before agreeing to answer any questions. Put this information in writing.

• You are under no need to speak with them if you don't feel comfortable doing so. Tell them you will communicate with them after you have legal counsel for personal injury claims, or ask them to contact your insurance provider.

• If needed, you can provide them with your address, phone number, and name.

•Don't provide any information regarding the collision or your injuries.

•Inform them not to get in touch with you; you will get in touch with them if necessary.

Here are a few strategies for undermining your accident claim using a recorded statement.

• The claims adjuster for the other motorist might compare the statement you provided to the one you made in the police report. Should they discover any discrepancies, your case can be rejected. This is unjust as most people will embellish their accounts when they retell them over months.

• The adjuster may pose challenging queries that you won't be able to respond to without jeopardizing your claim. Even instances of adjusters being pushy or pressuring you to make a response that weakens your case have been made. It's possible for you to feel irritated or perplexed and say, "I guess so." Something as basic as this could completely undermine your argument.

• Refrain from engaging in amiable chat; they might inquire about things that appear harmless, such if you were listening to loud music or being preoccupied with something on the sidewalk. Steer clear of any inquiries similar to these.

• Use the recorded statement you provided for cross-examination if your case gets to trial. You might make a contradiction without realizing it for months thereafter. This is something that a skilled lawyer will bring out, and it could hurt your case.

Do not make any Conclusion on who caused the Collision

Your opinions, no matter how well-founded, are personal. Any admission of guilt, even if it's only that the other person was to blame for the collision, could undermine your case. Think twice before sharing something that isn't supported by data.

Avoid Naming Parties

Giving the insurance company the names of any friends, family, or witnesses is not a good idea. The claims adjuster might get in touch with these people and look for evidence to refute your claim.

That you have not retained a Car Accident Lawyer

Insurance providers enjoy working with clients who lack a personal injury lawyer. In this manner, they can use low settlement offers, behave in bad faith with insurance, and obstruct the claims procedure in various ways. Conversely, insurance companies detest doing business with individuals who are represented by counsel. They are aware that games are not allowed here. If not, they might be penalized for things like contract violations.

That you are Agreeable to any Settlement Offer

This is not applicable if the insurance provider offers to cover the whole amount of your damages and handles your claim fairly and reasonably.

However, this is not common. The insurance provider may attempt to make you an offer after learning about your collision before you are aware of the actual value of your case. The insurance company might undervalue your losses in an attempt to minimize its payment.

Should you accept this offer—especially in the absence of understanding the full extent of your damages—you may have to pay for them out of pocket.

What are the timelines for filing Motorcycle Accident claims in California?

It is important to note that time is of the essence when following up on a motorcycle accident claim in California. You must ensure that you file your claim within 3 years from the date the accident occurred. Filing your claim outside the 3 years shall hurt the chances of your claim succeeding. It follows from this that you should begin the process of filing the claim as soon as the accident occurs. If you are apprehensive that the chances of you filing the claim are threatened, you must seek the services of a qualified personal injury lawyer so that they can help you throughout the process of seeking compensation.

LA Injury Group

If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident in California, you should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer who will be able to review your case and advise you on the best way forward. LA Injury Group is available to help you. Contact us now for a free consultation on Los Angeles motorcycle crashes, and all other crashes that happen within California. We are committed to ensuring that you get the compensation that you deserve.

References and Citation

[1] California Department, The California Motorcycle Study - Driver and Accident Characteristics, available at, accessed on 2nd May, 2024.

[2] Ibid.

[3] California Office of Traffic Safety, available at,increase%20of%2027.3%25%20from%202020., accessed on 2nd May, 2023.

[4] Ibid.

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