The Leading Causes of Motorcycle Crashes in California

by Staff Blogger | March 16th, 2020

Motorcycle crashes are notoriously deadly. Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in crashes than other types of motorists. That’s a reality that most motorcycles know instinctively when they get on their bikes and share the road with less-than-generous drivers.

If you ride, you already know some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. Each time a driver follows you too closely or veers into your lane, you get a glimpse of how motorcycle accidents occur.

But it’s important for all motorists, whether drivers or riders, to be aware of what causes accidents so we can all do our part to save motorcyclists’ lives. Check out our helpful infographic below for more information.

A Closer Look at the Numbers in California

All the information above applies to motorcycle accidents in our state as well as in the broader U.S., but we can dig a little deeper to learn about the specific causes of crashes in California. First, let’s look at the most recent data about the number of motorcycle accidents, which was last updated in 2016.

In 2016, 548 motorcycle fatalities occurred in California, which was an 11% increase from the previous year. There was also a 9% increase in motorcyclist deaths from not wearing a helmet from 2015 to 2016.

Data from the California Office of Traffic Safety lets us see even more recent data. There were 113 people injured or killed in motorcycle accidents in Sacramento in 2017. In Sacramento County, 500 people were injured or killed in motorcycle accidents in 2017.

But What About the Causes of Motorcycle Crashes in California?

How did these crashes happen? Here are the leading causes of motorcycle accidents in California, specifically:

  • A failure of the non-motorcyclist to give the motorcyclist the right-of-way.
  • Other motorists turning into the path of a motorcycle (in about one-third of all multi-vehicle crashes involving motorcyclists).
  • Driving or riding after consuming alcohol (in about 43% of all motorcycle crashes)

Then, of course, there are the common culprits of all crashes, including motorcycle crashes:

  • Distraction
  • Fatigue
  • Failure to adjust driving to the conditions of the road
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Failure to follow traffic signs or signals

As California motorcycle accident attorneys, we’ve seen first-hand how devastating a moment of distraction or one careless turn by a motorist can be for motorcyclists. Sadly, even though motorcyclists aren’t at fault for these crashes, they often face a stigma in each stage of the claims process.

Motorcyclists can be discriminated against by fellow motorists, law enforcement agencies, and insurance companies. This is one of the many reasons we suggest that motorcyclists like you contact an experienced attorney immediately following a crash—you deserve to have your rights protected.

Have Questions? Contact Berg Injury Lawyers

We know motorcycle accidents, and we want to hear from you if you’ve been injured by a careless driver. Schedule a free consultation with our team, and we’ll listen to your case and let you know your legal options. Contact Berg Injury Lawyers today to get started.