Motorcyclists are over-represented in fatal traffic accidents. While only 2.7% of California’s motor vehicle registrations were for motorcycles, motorcyclists made up 15% of the state’s traffic fatalities and 7% of the state’s traffic injuries in 2018, according to California’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS).
Motorcycles produce these numbers for several reasons. They are unstable and require balance and skill to stay upright. Motorcycles are more susceptible to poor road conditions. And, most importantly, motorcycles get hit by careless drivers who fail to spot them.
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How Mission Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident in San Diego, CA
Mission Personal Injury Lawyers started providing personal injury legal representation to San Diego, California, accident victims in 2010. Over the past 13 years, our attorneys have recovered tens of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.
Our San Diego motorcycle accident lawyers have over 43 years of combined legal experience. We can help you by:
- Providing a free consultation so you understand your rights before making any decisions about your case
- Standing up to insurers to prevent them from pushing you into an unfair settlement
- Representing you for a contingency fee that you pay only after we win or settle your case
Injuries from a traffic accident can leave you with long-term disabilities and all the expenses that come from them. Contact Mission Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your injuries and your right to pursue compensation.
How Many Motorcycle Accidents Happen in San Diego?
California had nearly 14,400 motorcycle accidents in 2018, according to SWITRS. These motorcycle crashes caused 13,882 injuries and 514 deaths. And unlike automobile crash injuries that drop as vehicles become safer, motorcycle accidents have leveled off since 2016.
A significant number of these motorcycle crashes happened in San Diego County. According to SWITRS, the county had nearly 1,600 motorcycle accidents. These accidents killed 44 motorcyclists and injured over 1,500 riders.
How To Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles have a higher risk of single-vehicle accidents than cars. This risk comes from their inherent instability. If you cause a rider to lose their balance, they can lose control of their motorcycle and crash.
Motorcycles also get hit by careless drivers at a very high rate. According to one study, blame for over 60% of collisions between motorcycles and automobiles falls on careless automobile drivers. Thus, steps taken by drivers can significantly improve safety for motorcycle operators and passengers.
Some steps for how to be a safe driver for motorcyclists in San Diego include:
Watch for Motorcycles
One of the top causes of motorcycle crashes is a phenomenon called “looked but failed to see.” Another term for this lapse is “inattentional blindness.” This happens when a driver appears to watch for hazards but still misses them.
This scenario happens for a few reasons. First, motorcycles are smaller than cars and trucks. Sometimes, you miss them simply because you scan for large objects rather than small objects while driving. As a result, your brain misses small objects even when your eyes see them.
Second, drivers have a cognitive bias against road users who do not pose a threat to them. In other words, your mind recognizes cars and trucks because they can harm you. But your brain does not recognize motorcycles and pedestrians because they usually cannot.
Third, your brain engages in a natural filtering process so it does not get overwhelmed. When you are unfocused, your brain filters unimportant details like the color of the car in front of you and the location of the motorcycle in the next lane.
You can overcome inattentional blindness by concentrating while you drive. If you intentionally look for motorcycles while driving, your brain will register them, and your risk of hitting one will fall.
Yield the Right of Way
Most drivers treat pedestrians, bicycles, and motorcycles as inferior road users. But these road users have the same right to the roads as automobiles do.
When you approach intersections, look for oncoming non-vehicle road users. If traffic laws require you to yield the right of way, stop and wait for them instead of trying to beat them through the intersection.
If you fail to yield the right of way to a motorcyclist and hit them, you will bear the blame for the crash. You and your insurance will be liable for the motorcyclist’s losses that come from the collision.
Check Your Blind Spots
When drivers become lax, they stop exercising the same level of care when watching for other road users. They do not turn their heads to check their blind spots before turning or changing lanes. They may not even check their mirrors before maneuvering.
Make sure you always check your blind spots for motorcyclists. You can easily lose track of motorcycles in adjacent lanes and accidentally hit them.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our San Diego Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
A motorcycle crash can cause severe or fatal injuries. Contact Mission Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your motorcycle crash injuries and the compensation you can get for them.