Autumn hazards affecting motorcyclists in California

Numerous factors, including driver inattention and road and weather conditions, may increase the dangers for motorcyclists year-round.

Motorcycling is a popular pastime throughout the year in many parts of California, due to the state's ideal weather conditions year-round. To any motorcycle enthusiast, there is nothing better than the freedom and maneuverability of a bike, which can't be duplicated with larger vehicles. However, bikers need to understand that they can get in a deadly or life-changing accident at any time, especially where other drivers are concerned.

Motorcycle safety is a serious concern in California, with crashes involving motorcyclists rising alarmingly high in recent years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 453 motorcyclists lost their lives in California in 2013. This number was higher than any in the previous four years.

Serious crash in Escondido highlights dangers to motorcyclists

This past August, a motorcyclist who was approaching a mobile home park in Escondido was struck by another vehicle attempting to turn left into the park's entrance. Fox 5 News reported that the 35-year-old driver of the van failed to yield and turned directly into the motorcycle's path, resulting in serious injuries for the 59-year-old biker.

It is common for vehicles to turn in front of motorcycles. Other factors that often contribute to motorcycle crashes include the following:

  • Drivers failing to notice a motorcyclist riding alongside or behind their vehicles
  • Vehicles making lane changes or turning without using a turn signal
  • Drivers not understanding that motorcycles need a longer following distance than other cars

Road and weather conditions can also contribute to an accident. There are numerous hazardous conditions in fall weather that may pose a risk for all drivers. According to Esurance, these may include rain, fog and frost causing slick road conditions. Fallen leaves on the road may become slippery when wet, muddy or frosty. The glare from the morning or evening sun is also particularly troublesome during autumn. It is important for all drivers to reduce their speed and give each other extra room when the weather or roads are bad. These precautions may save a motorcyclist's life.

Common motorcycle crash injuries

A small group of specific injures are especially common in motorcycle crashes, state the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These include traumatic brain injuries, neck injuries, bone fractures and internal bleeding.

Motorcyclists have few protections against a fast-moving car that is much larger and heavier than their bike. If you were injured by a negligent, speeding or intoxicated driver, it is important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You may be eligible for compensation.

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