Contact Us for a Free Consultation (707) 575-7141

What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?


What causes a motorcycle accident? The insurance company in most cases will blame the motorcycle rider, but the insurance companies don't have their facts straight when it comes to California motorcycle wrecks. According to studies, 30 percent of motorcycle crashes are due to a driver who did not see the motorcycle: in other words, driver error.


Other common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Vehicle moves into path of motorcycle
  • Car driver is distracted (for example, texting) and runs into motorcycle
  • Motorcycle gets hit by reckless or aggressive driver
  • Motorcycle gets hit by a drunk driver
  • Motorcycle comes across a road defect, such as loose gravel or a pothole, and biker loses control.
  • Defective equipment such as malfunction brakes or tires


The state of California is a rarity in that it permits lane splitting if it is executed in a manner that is both “safe and prudent.” Such an allowance, however, can be extremely complicated given the nature of lane splitting and each person's individual interpretation of what “safe and prudent,” actually entails. By definition, lane splitting denotes the physical action of a motorcyclist driving between two lanes when traffic is slow or stopped.

Determining liability after a motorcycle accident involving lane splitting can prove to be very difficult given the nature of the driving behavior itself. Conditions such as the motorcycle's close proximity to other vehicles, the limited maneuvering space, and the lack of anticipation from other car drivers make cases of this nature are ones that are easy targets for fodder when it comes to assessing liability in the accident. For Californians, however, there is much more chance for favorable results for the motorcyclist because of the state's allowance of lane splitting.

If the injured motorcyclist is able to prove that another driver contributed to the accident, then the motorcycle rider stands to be at least partially compensated – if not fully compensated – for his or her personal injuries and property damage. For example, a motorcyclist who can prove that the other car was swerving in between lanes, then he or she stands a much higher chance of being compensated for the accident. Under the guidance of a Santa Rosa personal injury lawyer from our firm, the following factors can be assessed to help back your claim:

  • As the motorcyclist, you were riding carefully and adhering to the rules of the road
  • As the motorcyclist, you refrained from weaving in and out of lanes or between other vehicles
  • As the motorcyclist, you can prove that you've completed a motorcycle riding / safety course

If our firm is able to prove that the other motor vehicle driver who was involved in the accident made a driving error that is more dangerous than lane splitting, you may also have cause for a claim. An abrupt lane change after failing to signal or drifting into another lane are two examples of cases in which the other driver could be more at fault than the lane-splitting motorcyclist.

With the help of a Santa Rosa personal injury attorney from our firm, and the support of police reports and / or witness statements, you may be able to prove that your lane splitting maneuver was not the cause of the motorcycle accident in which you were involved. To learn more, feel free to contact a lawyer from our firm to learn more.


If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle wreck, don't hesitate to contact an experienced Santa Rosa personal injury attorney. At The Law Offices of Freeman & Freeman, we're prepared to aggressively fight for our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation. Call (707) 575-7141.

Free, Confidential Legal Consultation
Our team is ready to confidentially review your case for free.
  • This field is required.
  • This field is required.
  • This field is required.
  • This field is required.

Contact Us Today

The Law Offices of Freeman & Freeman is committed to answering your questions about Personal Injury and Nursing Home Abuse law issues in Santa Rosa and throughout Northern California. We offer a free consultation and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Santa Rosa Personal Injury Attorneys
Mon: 08:00am - 05:00pm
Tue: 08:00am - 05:00pm
Wed: 08:00am - 05:00pm
Thu: 08:00am - 05:00pm
Fri: 08:00am - 05:00pm