Many motorcycle accidents result from a car driver’s errors. Driver behaviors leading to collisions range from distracted driving to operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Although the driver might not be paying attention or might be driving negligently, you can take certain precautions as a motorcyclist to avoid or prevent a crash.
Unfortunately, even safe riding does not eliminate the risk of being in a collision. Accidents can still happen, and they often result in extensive damages. When a driver’s errors cause the crash, that individual can be held financially responsible for losses and expenses you suffered. You can pursue compensation by filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. To build your case, you must gather evidence, get medical care, and take other steps after your accident. Because of the complexities of these matters, it is in your best interests to have an attorney help throughout.
Common Driver Errors Leading to Collisions
Various types of negligent or reckless driving behaviors can cause motorcycle accidents. Depending on the situation, you can do several things to avoid a collision with an unsafe driver.
The following are some of the most common driver errors and ways to avoid them:
- Distracted driving: Anything that causes a driver to take their hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, or mind off driving is considered distracted driving. Distractions can include eating, talking on a cell phone, texting, or interacting with an onboard electronics system.
Staying alert while on the road can help you avoid a crash with a distracted driver. For instance, if you notice the car slowly weaving in the lane, the motorist might be paying attention to something other than driving. It may be a good idea to keep your distance from the vehicle.
- Failure to yield at intersections: A driver might not stop at a red light or slow down at a yield sign when turning right. Because a motorcyclist is smaller than a vehicle, the driver might not see you coming from the other side.
Use extreme caution when going through intersections. Slow down, and carefully check all crossings when proceeding.
- Improper left-hand turns: If a motorist is not mindful when turning left at an intersection, they might not see you on your bike, causing a head-on collision.
Similar to the suggestion above, to avoid a left-hand turn accident, be alert when going through an intersection. Try to anticipate the driver’s move by noticing anything indicating they are about to turn in front of you.
- Unsafe lane changes: Before drivers change lanes, they must check their mirrors and blind spots. Unfortunately, if they fail to do what’s required, they might not see you as you’re riding next to them.
You can do a couple of things to prevent an accident resulting from an unsafe lane change. Keep an eye on the vehicle’s wheels. If you notice them starting to pivot or angling toward the other lane, slow down or move over. Also, avoid riding in the driver’s blind spot. Make sure you can see the car’s side-view mirrors. If you can see the driver in their mirrors, they should be able to see you.
- Driving under the influence: A driver impaired by alcohol and/or drugs will likely have slower reaction times, poor judgment, reduced visibility, and engage in unsafe driving behaviors. Any of these elements can be the catalyst for a motorcycle accident.
Be aware of the way a motorist is driving. If they’re weaving, making sudden stops, frequently speeding up or slowing down, or failing to obey traffic laws, they might be under the influence. Stay clear of them and report them to local law enforcement.
- Reckless driving: Some drivers do not respect the rules of the road. These individuals engage in dangerous conduct, endangering the safety of others. They might speed, weave between lanes, and follow too closely.
Make sure you are aware of how drivers around you are operating their vehicles. Check your mirrors often to see the cars behind you and steer clear of anyone who may be driving recklessly.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
You might take precautions to avoid collisions with others, but some accidents are unavoidable. Unfortunately, when a motorcyclist is in a crash with a car, the rider will likely suffer more serious injuries than the passenger vehicle occupants. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2020, motorcyclists were 28 times more likely to be killed and 4 times more likely to be injured in an accident than car passengers.
The harm motorcyclists sustain may require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and missed work, creating a substantial financial burden. In California, the person who caused the accident can be liable for damages. Recovering just compensation requires establishing fault and calculating the value of the claim.
To build your case, it’s important to do the following after your motorcycle accident:
- Get to safety: Check to see if you or anyone else was injured. If you are able to, get yourself or others out of the way of traffic.
- Contact emergency services: Call 911 to report the accident and have officers and other personnel (if necessary) dispatched to the scene.
- See a doctor: Even if you don’t believe you were injured, have a medical professional do a checkup.
- Collect information about the crash: Take pictures or videos of the accident scene. Write down any details that seem important.
- Exchange information: Get the at-fault driver’s name, phone number, and insurance details. If anyone witnessed the accident, ask for their contact information.
- Discuss the accident only with officials: Be sure to answer the responding officer’s questions, but do not speak with the other driver about what happened.
Reach Out to a Personal Injury Attorney
Trying to navigate an insurance claim or lawsuit after an accident can be difficult, especially when recovering from your injuries. You do not have to handle the details of your case yourself. You can have a lawyer assist at every stage.
At The Law Offices of David P. Kashani, APLC, we are dedicated advocates for motorcycle accident victims. We can help you seek fair financial recovery. Our team will deliver individualized attention as we investigate the case, build a legal strategy, and fight for you inside or outside of the courtroom.
To discuss the details of your case in Alameda County, call us at (855) 449-0944 or contact us online. Your initial consultation is free.