Motorcycle Accidents in Irvine: Is Speeding the Most Common Cause?

Motorcycle Accidents in Irvine: Is Speeding the Most Common Cause?

The 1986 film Top Gun popularized the term “need for speed.” It refers to the desire to go fast, but practicing it in real life can lead to accidents, especially if you do it on a motorcycle. 

Motorcycles are lighter than cars, allowing them to go faster, pass through tighter spaces, and navigate traffic jams. However, its design puts the driver in more peril, having less protection due to being more exposed than enclosed, such as in the case of a car’s metal exterior.

However, not all motorcycle accidents are the same—cases can depend on the crash severity and fatality. This article examines the seriousness and common causes of motorcycle accidents in Irvine.

5 Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Irvine

Several factors can contribute to a motorcycle accident, which include the following.

1. Alcohol

There are many cases of accidents where the driver decides to have a drink before driving. In 2020, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that 27% of drivers with fatal injuries had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) higher than 0.08%. The percentage is higher for drivers involved in single-vehicle accidents, at 42%.

It’s also important to note that 48% of drivers involved in fatal crashes had BACs higher than 0.08% and drove during the evenings between 9 PM to 6 AM. Only 20% of lethal accidents with alcohol involvement took place during other times.

2. Speeding

Because a motorcycle is lighter than a car, speeding becomes easier. Some factors that could cause a driver to speed are running late, wanting to beat traffic, or feeling the need to speed. Unfortunately, they could lose control of the vehicle and have an accident, which may be fatal depending on speed and impact force.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that speeding made up 29% of fatal accidents in 2020.

3. Left-hand turn

Motorcycles are smaller, which makes them harder to see, especially for large vehicles. When turning left, motorcycles can land in a large vehicle’s blind spots, causing them to collide. Of the traffic accidents in the United States, 42% are due to left-hand turns

4. Lane splitting

Lane splitting is when a bicycle or motorcycle rider drives between slow-moving or stopped traffic. Though it was made legal in California in 2016, it’s still a cause for accidents because large vehicles find it difficult to see approaching or passing motorcyclists.

Speeding is one of the factors that could increase the risk of collision, especially if the driver is going above 10 mph

5. Road hazards

Motorcyclists must watch out for various road hazards, including slick roads, terrain, and potholes. The risk of accidents increases if the driver is going through poor weather.

4 Types of Crash Severity in Motorcycle Accidents in Irvine

4 Types of Crash Severity in Motorcycle Accidents in Irvine

Source: TIMS Motorcycle Crash Map Viewer

A personal injury attorney or the authorities can use the classifications of crash severities to assess an accident. Other reports may use different labels, but they can still give you an idea of the seriousness of the incident.

4 Types of Crash Severity in Motorcycle Accidents in Irvine

Source: University of California, Berkeley

1. Fatal

Fatal crashes usually have one or more deaths within 30 days of the accident due to sustained injuries. A death from a deadly crash doesn’t include illnesses that the victims either carry after the accident.

The University of California (UC), Berkeley reports seven deaths in Irvine due to fatal crashes without alcohol involvement and one with alcohol involved from 2018 to 2020. In 2020, the most common type of reported crash incidents that resulted in lethal injuries was angle collisions at 88%, followed by head-on collisions at 28.6%.

2. Severe injury

Law Insider defines severe injuries as “any physical injury that results in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations requiring multiple sutures or cosmetic surgery.” Due to the body’s exposure when on a motorcycle, the upper or lower extremities can be the most affected. Severe injuries can be classified in two:

  • Lower-extremities injuries

The lower extremities include the pelvis, legs, and feet. Common injuries include fractures, dislocation, or ligament tearing. Severe lower-extremity injuries could result in the victim being unable to walk or stand properly, even after treatment and physical therapy. In some cases, they could lose their limbs, too.

  • Upper-extremities injuries

The upper extremities include the arms, elbows, wrists, and hands, and they can suffer the same injuries as the lower extremities. Severe injuries to these body parts could result in the victim losing the limb or in the appendage.

From 2018 to 2020, there were 27 severe injuries of the upper extremities not involving alcohol and one concerning alcohol.

3. Other visible injuries

Other injuries that the victims suffer include abrasions, bruises, or lacerations that may require medical attention but aren’t necessarily severe, like black eyes, bloody noses, or skinned knees or hands. Visible injuries take up the bulk of the UC Berkeley report, with 67 accidents without alcohol involved and two with.

4. Complaint of pain

Some injuries are not visible but have effects on the body. Victims limping or seeming dazed or confused can fall under this classification. However, some may cite a complaint of pain to make a fraudulent claim or want the authorities to list them as injured though they have no visible injuries.

Complaints of pain are among the widespread reports behind other visible injuries, with 43 non-alcohol-involved incidents and one involving alcohol.

Make Safety a Priority

So, is speeding the most common cause of motorcycle accidents in Irvine? It is not. But if you own a motorcycle and see it as your primary means of transportation, always remember to ride safely. Ensure you know your surroundings, don’t drink and drive, and mind your speed. Also, keep your helmet on to minimize injuries.

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident and need an attorney to guide you through the process, contact us at RMD Law. Our team of experienced lawyers is ready for the tireless representation you deserve. Contact us for a free case evaluation.

Aria Miran
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