Motorcycles are a fun and adventurous form of transportation, especially in California. The perfect weather and beautiful scenery combine to make the roads of California perfect for motorcyclists to enjoy the ride. With over 800,000 registered motorcycles in the state, it is no secret that many people in California enjoy riding their motorcycles. Still, with all the adventure, there is also danger with this form of transportation. 

With 42 percent of all motorcycles being involved in an accident, there is a significant risk when riding this type of motor vehicle. However, the lawyers at Setareh Law have extensive experience in motorcycle injury cases. Keep reading to learn more about the common causes of motorcycle accidents in California so you can learn what to avoid and how to be safe on the roads. 

Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes in California

While riding on a motorcycle can offer you a fun and scenic drive through sunny California, it is also dangerous. Motorcycle accidents are more common than car crashes and result in far more fatalities, so it is crucial you take the appropriate safety precautions. The following are the most common causes of motorcycle crashes in California:

Head-On Collisions

You may be surprised to learn that 74 percent of motorcycle accidents are a result of head-on collisions. More than half of motorcycle deaths also involve a head-on collision with another vehicle. This type of accident typically occurs at an intersection, often when the driver runs a red light or stop sign. Proceed with caution through intersections, even if you have the right of way, and be sure to be aware of other vehicles. 


Speeding is dangerous no matter what type of vehicle you are driving. There are speed limits for a reason, and abiding by these laws is crucial to the safety of everyone on the road. Unfortunately, about a third of motorcycle fatalities result from speeding, so be sure to abide by the speed limit and slow down if weather or road conditions are not ideal. 

Cars Making Left-Handed Turns

This type of accident can affect drivers of all vehicles, but it is incredibly destructive to motorcyclists who are driving smaller and less protected vehicles. Often occurring at intersections when a driver is turning left and a motorcyclist is going straight, the driver who hit the motorcycle is often at fault. Be aware of vehicles waiting to turn at an intersection, and never assume that they can see you.

Driving Under the Influence

In California, driving under the influence is a common cause of all motor vehicle accidents and can be particularly dangerous for motorcyclists. Drugs and alcohol impair reaction time and judgement, making driving under the influence incredibly dangerous. Due to their small size, motorcycles are less visible on the roads and run a greater risk of falling victim to a drunk driver. If you notice a vehicle driving erratically, keep your distance. Pull over in a safe place and report the vehicle to local authorities. 

Road Hazard

Road hazards can be destructive to any vehicle. From potholes to debris, you need to be looking out for road hazards whenever you are out for a drive. Unfortunately, due to their lack of protection and decreased stability, motorcycles are more susceptible to accidents resulting from road hazards. Hitting or running over any road hazard can be disastrous and cause a crash. 

Distracted Driving

Texting and driving are illegal, but unfortunately, this does not prevent drivers from texting or engaging in other forms of distracted driving. When a distracted driver hits a motorcycle, they are almost always at fault. Be cautious of other vehicles while driving and keep your distance from any vehicles that are exhibiting signs the driver is distracted or if you can see the driver using their phone.

Inexperienced Drivers

Unfortunately, inexperience can be fatal when it comes to driving a motorcycle. Many new motorcyclists set out onto the California roads without the experience necessary to keep themselves and others safe. Without enough practice on a motorcycle, the result can be dangerous and can easily cause a crash. Be sure to drive cautiously, be aware of road conditions and other drivers, and wear a helmet and protective gear.

Motorcycle Lane Splitting

You have probably seen motorcyclists weaving through lanes to get through traffic. This practice is called lane splitting. While it can be an effective way to cut through traffic, it can also be quite dangerous. If a driver does not notice a motorcyclist coming down the middle of a lane and tries to merge over, the result can cause a crash and irreparable damages. 

Get Help From California Personal Injury Lawyers

Riding a motorcycle can be fun, but it is also dangerous if proper care is not taken. Knowing the causes of motorcycle accidents can help you be safe, but if you have been in a motorcycle accident, you may need legal help to receive adequate compensation. Setareh Law has extensive experience with motorcycle injury cases and is ready to help you pursue compensation for the damages you have suffered. Click here or call us at (310) 659-1826 to schedule a free consultation today.