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Date Modified: August 10, 2023

I am world famous motorcyclist lawyer, Michael Ehline. I am known as the motorcycle rider’s friend because I ride and help assure that riders get the most money possible for motorcycle wrecks. Riding a motorcycle requires a can-do and rebellious attitude all in one. As a top California motorcycle lawyer, I can say without reservation that there is a lot more to lawyering than a radio show jingle.

My staff and I helped write this report to forewarn riders about the leading causes and common prevention factors for avoiding motorcycle collisions on the roadways. Make no mistake; motorcycle accidents are no joke, and motorcycle riders should take an active interest in motorcycle accident prevention if they really care about their families.

First, many motorcycle collisions are caused when someone failed to see if the coast was clear before proceeding. So look around!

Knowing The Main Causes Of Riding Accidents Is The Best Way To Prevent Motorcycle Accidents

Causes of motorcycle accidents and collisions.

Riders knowing how and why shared roadway riding tragedies happen is the first step in preventing terrible, catastrophic injuries while riding. So below, we discuss some basic defensive riding techniques and the causes of external crashes. We also discuss how to avoid and deal with many types of collisions on California roads.

Causation is an essential element of tort law for you to recover monetary damages from the defendant (person liable for your wreck and injuries). The causation standard has been met if the defendant’s action or inaction caused or contributed to your riding injury. But avoiding accidents or mitigating losses or potential losses is also part of your job under tort law. Otherwise, you, the rider, can be held partially at fault under California’s pure comparative negligence laws.

Defensive Driving.

Defensive driving must be at a whole different level for bikers. The simplest way to stop lousy riding habits is to avoid consistently poor riding patterns from muscle memory. New motorcyclists remain at particular risk for forming terrible riding habits. You newer riders must exercise particular vigilance before you head out alone on the open highways.

Besides wearing bright clothing and protective riding apparel, riders must inspect their bike for mechanical problems. And you must understand there are other essential steps to take depending upon climate, time of day, week, etc., and warming up the tires, and adhering to the California Vehicle Code, are all important. As noted, cautious riders must take steps to ensure their safety and other motorists’ safety sharing the roads.

One way to develop good defensive driving habits is to understand the major causes of riding accidents and when and where they happen most often. As discussed, statistics show that 3 out of 4 motorcycle riding accidents involve passenger vehicles. The most significant amount of cited motorcycle accidents happen at intersections.

Intersection accidents include T-boning and left-hand turn crashes, usually related to inattentive automobile drivers. Sometimes vehicle operators drive while eating fast food, stuffing their faces instead of paying attention. And newly-minted or teen drivers still learning are notorious for ignoring other drivers and not paying attention to motorcyclists.

Most Motorcycle Crashes Are At Low Speed


  • Night-time motorcycle riding: places you at a statistically more significant chance of death or serious injury.
  • Most hit-and-run motorcycle accidents occur during the evening hours.
  • Most motorcycle crashes at speeds 30 miles per hour and under are unavoidable.
  • Many riders may not use their front brake because they are scared they will flip their bike. (But when motorcycle riders consistently count on the rear brake, they will drastically increase their risk of fishtailing their motorcycle and losing control).

Lane Sharing Helps Get Bikes To Safer Lanes?

One reason lane sharing is legal is to keep riders moving forward, which can help prevent riders from being rear-ended. The idea is to get your bike safe by keeping traffic jams in your rearview mirror. But as discussed, low-speed intersection accidents remain a big problem.

Distracted Driving And Motorcycle Accidents

Are Motorcycle Riders At Higher Risk Than Traditional Cars For Distraction-Related Collisions?

Distracted car drivers and motorcycle riders are an enormous threat on the road. Between young people speaking to their friends, drivers on their phones, and other major distractions, they are a leading cause of road deaths. So distracted driving crashes and fatalities are rising. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, over 3,000 people died in distracted driving wrecks in 2014 alone.

The illegal activity of motorists driving while texting or talking on handheld cell phones has become so ubiquitous that experts think it will grow along with more motorcycle collisions. As will be discussed, two-wheeled vehicles are at a severe disadvantage when faced with a larger, heavier car in a motorcycle accident.

Motorcycle Accident Risks Cause by Distracted Vehicles?

Because of the nature of motorcycles and people who ride motorcycles, the potential for serious injury or death due to distracted drivers is sharply higher. The reported motorcycle crashes show that road hazards are a constant problem facing riders. So being aware of surroundings is a major plus for riders. But only one part of the puzzle is solved by the rider paying attention to road hazards, etc. The bottom line is that no motorcycle safety course will save anyone from road hazards or anything else.

Many things can distract car drivers. And these drivers are a clear and present danger to bikers on the roads. Because of this, distracted driving is nearly on par with drunk driving as a cause of injury and death. One of the significant differences is that many distracted drivers don’t realize they’re doing it. The reported motorcycle crashes result in death or serious injuries more often than not for a reason.

But the reasons many motorcycle accidents occur can be:

  • A road hazard coupled with a blind spot
  • Wet pavement
  • New riders breaking the speed limit as they change lanes
  • Train tracks grabbing the tires
  • Failure to use turn signals
  • Bad weather conditions.

But a plethora of other risk factors and common hazards could be just some of the potential hazards you’ll face when you ride motorcycles. Many car operators use cell phones as though they were second nature. Larger vehicles, including SUVs, are a considerable threat to bikers.

Their sheer size and weight make serious injury far more likely, even if you wear protective material and are highly visible as a motorcycle rider to car drivers and others sharing the roads. Furthermore, young people make up a significant share of distracted drivers.

Teens and new drivers are less experienced. A motorcycle rider with little experience facing oncoming traffic, like a teen, risks accidents with other drivers at increased rates. Motorcyclists are over 30 times more likely to die in a motorcycle crash than similarly situated car and truck drivers. 

Distracted driving will not go away anytime soon. So this is where proper riding technique is so important. It could even save a life. Motorcycle drivers are an integral part of traffic. Their rights and privileges should be respected, as should everyone else’s, motorcycle helmet or not.

If you or a family member suffered injuries caused by a distracted driver, don’t leave anything to chance. Call or email Ehline Law today to set up a free appointment to discuss your legal options. Our contingency fee basis team is at the ready to help with any motorcycle accident claim for experienced riders or motorcyclists involved in admittedly at-fault accidents. We don’t ask for a penny unless we recover for you from the insurance company or the at-fault defendant. We will travel anywhere in California state to discuss your case with you.

DWI/DUI Drivers And Motorcycle Wrecks

Intoxicated drivers snuff the life out of riders all the time, often by opening car doors without using their rearview mirrors or backup cameras first to look for other cars approaching. These irresponsible evil-doers account for a large percentage of deaths and are capable of causing many grim injuries by crashing with other vehicles by failing to ride safely.

It could be drugs or alcohol. Either way, riders must be especially vigilant to look out for swerving vehicles and stay out of their blind spots. A cushion of space is the order of the day for vigilant riders. You can schedule a free consultation with our motorcycle crash lawyer anytime.

Wearing Protective Gear Saves Lives?

It sure can help! A major problem fallen riders face is road rash, friction burns, cuts, and other abrasions to the knees, hands, and elbows. Degloving will often occur in severe cases. Thick armored riding jackets, leather pants, chaps, strengthened gloves, steel toe boots, and other clothing save lives. As a matter of fact, along with a D.O.T.-approved helmet, gear drastically increases your living chances.

What Are The Solo Vehicle Motorcycle Crash Statistics?

Approximately 1/4 of many motorcycle accidents are single-vehicle (only the bike itself). Of those, 2/3 of single-vehicle wrecks are attributable to the negligence of the rider. So it’s not always a car door from parked cars or a worn tire tread that causes these collisions. The most significant cause of these solo crashes remains sliding out.

The main reason for solo impacts is typically improper use of the vehicle’s brakes. This is a reason experts say to wear long pants and leather chaps while riding. Are you getting this so far? Next on the list would be driving way too fast. For example, what happens when riders take corners at an unsafe speed for the weather and other road conditions?

Why Is Rider Experience So Important To Mitigating Riding Risks?

The experienced rider is not, strictly speaking, at less risk. Most riders in accidents have already been traversing the highways for around three years or so. Also, over half of the motorcycle collisions occur with novice riders who have about five months of riding experience. But an experienced rider on a new bike is at much greater risk than if he or she were enjoying their old bike.

What Are Some Other External Causes of Riding Accidents?

Sometimes injuries may be caused by an external problem that may or may not have to do with the rider or another vehicle operator’s negligence. Non-rider negligence created scenarios that cause harm are typically from a flawed motorcycle braking system, defective, leaking tires, animal strikes, such as a bird or bugs hitting a rider in the face, inclement weather, and oil slicks. (See more below).

Most riders have heard stories about road ragers intentionally targeting riders who engage in the legal activity of “lane splitting,” as another example.

Besides lack of experience, the most common causes of Los Angeles, California motorcycle accidents are as follows:

Can Motorcycle Safety Training Make A Difference?

Safety training helps inexperienced, and veteran riders understand and prepare for the worst kinds of dangerous riding scenarios. And this is backed up by statistics that say motorcycle rider safety training increases the risk of survival for a rider. Knowing how to fall or surf the bike to a stop can significantly increase the chances of making it out alive when there is a wreck.

Attorneys Can Help Answer Victim’s Questions And Offer Free Case Evaluations

Above all, most falls and spills on motorcycles cause injuries. One-half or so of these are not significant. So that means the rider can usually walk away and take his or her lumps. But the other half of the story is deaths, funerals, or extended hospital stays.

Most of all, injury claims usually are a long and complicated process. Insurance companies and recreational parks tend to employ a vast army of attorneys and claims adjusters dedicated to protecting their interests. So from the plaintiff’s perspective, you have no choice but to hire a great lawyer. But how do you know who to hire if you get involved in a terrible ATV crash?

The answer is that when another person’s negligence causes the accident, Ehline Law will firmly deal with both of these professionals on your behalf. After all, these adversaries are paid and trained to make your claim go away for the least amount of money possible. Contacting an experienced accident attorney like Michael Ehline levels the prospective plaintiff’s playing field to get the most money possible.

Receive A Free Motorcycle Accident Consultation About Accident Prevention Today

And the tenacious attorneys at Ehline Law Firm will represent you with the utmost vim and vigor; we will do everything we can to ensure your rights remain protected.

So we go the extra mile to take steps to keep you from being left holding the bag after a bad ATV crash. After all, it wasn’t your fault anyway. Contact us today for a free consultation and find out how Ehline Law Firm can assist you (213) 596-9642. Learn how to get money from a pro.

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
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Michael Ehline

Top Injury lawyer, Michael Ehline, Esq.
We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.