Have you or a loved one been severely injured in a motorcycle accident in San Bernardino County? Motorcycles are a great way to get around and can also be a fun recreational vehicle, but it’s always important to take all possible safety precautions while riding.
San Bernardino is home to several popular motorcycle routes, including CA-18 and CA-330/CA-18. Many riders stop at Cook’s Corner, a local biker institution, on their rides around the area. Unfortunately, San Bernardino County is also a dangerous place for bikers. Dozens of people die in San Bernardino every year from motorcycle accidents. When other drivers fail to look for motorcycles on the roadways, serious and deadly crashes occur. Because motorbike accidents can cause serious injuries or death, it’s important to take action right away – especially if your crash was caused by the negligence of another driver.
What are the Main Causes for Motorcycle Crashes?
Motorcycles may feature a slimmer profile than traditional motor vehicles, but they enjoy the same rights as other motorists on California roadways. There are a number of reasons why crashes take place, and they often occur as a result of reckless driving. The laws of the road are designed to ensure safety for every driver, including bikers, which is why it’s critical to obey all traffic safety regulations. While most bikers understand obtaining a motorcycle license offers them the rights and privileges of driving a vehicle on city roads and highways, many continue to neglect these rules – resulting in severe consequences.
Reckless vehicle driving is a primary factor for motorcycle collisions. Here are some of the most common types of driver negligence resulting in motorcycle accidents:
- Speeding – No matter what type of motor vehicle you’re driving, speeding reduces driver reaction time. When automobile drivers go over the speed limit, their perception is limited, which can cause them not to notice bikers nearby. As a result, these drivers put themselves and everyone around them in danger.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol – When driving drunk or high, you’re actively violating California Vehicle Code 23153 – and for good reason. These rules are in place to prevent drivers from impairing their sensory and motor functions as well as their reaction time. Drugs and alcohol can also impair driver judgment and increase recklessness. Intoxicated drivers often drift into oncoming traffic – making the road extremely unsafe for bikers.
- Driving distracted – Eating, texting, or talking on a cell phone while driving call attention away from the road, which is exactly where every driver’s attention should be at all times. These drivers are extremely dangerous to be around.
- Debris on the road – While automobile drivers usually don’t need to be concerned about driving near debris, obstructions can pose a huge problem to bikers. Riding near recent construction or in poor road conditions may cause the biker to lose control of his or her vehicle and crash. Excessive gravel, unaddressed potholes, and other hazards can increase the likelihood of an accident.
There are many other factors that contribute to the accident statistics in the Inland Empire. Some of these include:
- Unsafe door opening practices. Drivers who parallel park on local roadways don’t always look out the window for potential hazards. They may carelessly open a door in front of a motorcyclist causing him or her to crash into the door.
- Poor intersection awareness. Many accidents occur when motorists make left-hand turns at intersections. Drivers do not always look closely enough for motorcycles traveling through the intersection before they make a turn. They may strike motorcycles as they pass straight through an intersection.
- Cognizance of Lane Splitting. California allows motorcycles to drive between traffic lanes under certain circumstances. While motorcyclists know and use this practice, some drivers forget or fail to pay attention to their surroundings. Drivers who carelessly change lanes or fail to maintain their lanes can lead to dangerous accidents. Tip: You can read more about the latest lane splitting laws on our Riverside site called How Dangerous is Motorcycle Lane Splitting?
Motorcyclists are at a disadvantage in an accident. They only have their gear to protect them from the initial impact and trauma of a collision. An accident can throw a motorcyclist from his or her bike, pin a motorcyclist in-between objects, or lead to impalement. Motorcycle accidents can result in traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, and other life-changing injuries.
San Bernardino Motorcycle Crash Statistics
Motorcycle crashes are a huge problem in and around San Bernardino. Thousands of crashes occur every year, and many of these result from hit-and-run automobiles or other forms of reckless driving. Regardless of whether you’re a responsible biker, consistently obey traffic laws, and wear all necessary safety equipment, neglectful drivers can still overpower your vehicle.
Throughout San Bernardino County, the most substantial crashes result in thousands of injuries and fatalities. For example, the California Highway Patrol reported that in 2013:
- Driving at an unsafe speed caused 3,630 total crashes, 3,689 injuries, and 39 deaths.
- Improper turning resulted in 2,037 total crashes, 2,019 injuries, and 62 deaths.
- Driving under the influence caused 927 total crashes, 1,050 injuries, and 45 deaths.
- Violations of traffic signs and signals caused 814 total crashes, 1,071 injuries, and 8 deaths.
The list goes on. Many of these incidents directly affect bikers, which is why it’s so important to have somewhere to turn in case of personal injury at the hands of a reckless driver. According to the CDC, motorcyclist deaths nearly doubled nationwide between 1999 and 2008.
For more information about motorcycle accidents, see our article about The Most Common Types of Motorcycle Injuries.
What do I do after a Motorcycle Accident?
Because bikers are much less protected than automobile drivers on the road, accidents involving motorcycles almost always result in injuries. Whether you can walk away from an accident or spend months in the hospital, you can protect your right to recovery. You can follow these steps after a collision with a motorcycle:
#1. Seek Medical Attention. This is extremely important, even if you don’t think that you were injured. The next step is to seek legal representation.
#2. Keep Record of Medical Expenses. Save all receipts and documentation of your injuries. X-rays, medical assessments and drug prescription costs are helpful as well. A skilled, experienced attorney can help you achieve the full settlement you deserve. We know offsetting the costs of medical bills, psychological trauma, and property damage is only one component of recovery, but it’s one we’re happy to help with.
#3. Contact Your Insurance Provider. When you file an insurance claim through your own policy or an at-fault driver’s, describe the accident carefully and avoid accepting any settlement offer that seems too low.
#4. Seek Legal Council. If you suffer a serious injury and need help holding the responsible party accountable, come to the team at Estey & Bomberger, LLP. We can negotiate with insurance representatives and bill collectors for you, pursue a trial to secure fair compensation on your behalf, and protect your rights during the recovery process. You deserve the best possible opportunity for recovery after suffering in a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence of others.
San Bernardino Motorcycle Accident Lawyer – Free Consultations!
If you were injured by another motorist on your motorcycle, we want to hear from you! We offer initial consultations free of charge and can advise on what compensation you can fight for, as well as the best steps to take regarding your case. Contact us today at our convenient San Bernardino office! Call us at (909) 882-2016