People ride motorcycles year-round in California, and given the volume of traffic, accidents are always a possibility. When a motorcycle-car crash does occur, the motorcyclist is usually assumed to be at fault-at least from an insurance company's point of view.
As a motorcyclist, you are much more vulnerable to serious injury than a motorist. While a crash can occur at any time, you can reduce the chances by staying alert and using a little common sense. Here are three of the most common causes of motorcycle-car accidents:
1. The lane changer
Be especially wary of the vehicles around you when you are riding in traffic. As a motorcyclist, you can maneuver faster than the driver next to you who is exhibiting signs of wanting to switch lanes. You may be in his blind spot, so drop back a little or speed up a little, if it safe to do so. Stay alert to changing traffic conditions, such as a slow-up that would cause drivers to be more impatient and therefore eager to change lanes.
2. The door opener
In terms of slow-ups, you may be tempted to ride between a lane of slow-moving vehicles and a line of parked cars. Never do this. Someone in a parked car might suddenly open a door just as you approach. You could sustain devastating injuries in this scenario.
3. The sudden left turn
An oncoming driver might either misjudge your speed or fail to see you altogether. Consequently, he could make a left turn right in front of you. Be prepared to take evasive action. One possibility is to brake quickly and execute a right-hand turn: Now you are traveling in the same direction as the car. In time, you will be able to turn around and continue on your way.
If the worst happens
If you are involved in a collision, injuries will be your first concern. Even if you appear to have sustained only bumps and bruises, a personal injury attorney will tell you that seeking immediate medical assistance is still a must. A prompt medical evaluation is important, both for your well-being and for any claim you might have for financial compensation. You may do all you can to prevent a motorcycle-car collision, but given today's crowded roads, avoiding a crash is not always possible.