Orange County is often considered one of the most beautiful places to drive in California, but the area is also heavily congested with commuter and tourist traffic. Unfortunately, the risks of the roads in Orange County are even more serious for motorcyclists than passenger vehicle drivers. There are several inherent risks of riding a motorcycle, including the lack of physical protection in a crash, no safety features like airbags or seatbelts, and the high speeds at which motorcycle accidents often occur.
All riders should exercise the utmost care and caution every time they get on their bikes. Orange County may be a scenic place to ride, but it is also densely populated and home to some of the most demanding traffic in the state. If you are going to ride in Orange County, you should know where accidents are most likely to occur, how to limit your risk of having an accident, and what to do if another driver hits you while you’re on your bike.
Where Do Motorcycle Accidents Happen in Orange County?
If you plan to ride a motorcycle in Orange County, you may wonder what is the deadliest part of Orange County for motorcycle riders. While statistics indicate that accidents occur frequently on several local roads, it’s important to note that accidents can happen on any road, and all motorcyclists should do everything they can to minimize their risk of experiencing accidents however possible. Some of the most dangerous roads for motorcyclists in Orange County include:
- The Ortega Highway, a beautiful but narrow and winding stretch of highway that extends all the way to Riverside. This road is popular with motorcyclists on weekends, but traffic congestion and tight turns make it inherently hazardous.
- Beach Boulevard, a stretch of highway that extends from Huntington Beach through Los Angeles, connecting many of the most popular downtown areas of Orange County. The main hazard of this stretch of road is the traffic congestion during peak hours.
- Laguna Canyon Road. This road is especially dangerous at night due to poor visibility, and local police consider it a hotspot for drunk driving-related crashes.
- Interstate 5, one of the biggest freeways in the country that extends from Canada to Mexico. The 5 is hard to avoid for long-distance travel around Orange County and is one of the most heavily traveled roads in the entire country.
- The 405 Freeway, one of the most notoriously dangerous highway areas of Orange County. Statistically, there is at least one accident per day on the 405.
While it may be difficult to avoid using some of these roads, motorcyclists should do everything they can to limit their risk of having accidents.
How to Stay Safer on a Motorcycle
Driving a motorcycle is inherently risky, but there are several best practices you can follow that can hopefully reduce your chances of ever having a motorcycle accident, or at least mitigating your injuries if you do have an accident because of another driver’s negligence:
- Drive defensively. It may be fun to ride fast on your bike but staying at appropriate speeds and being observant of your surroundings is one of the best ways to limit the risk of a motorcycle accident.
- Avoid driving in dangerous conditions. While you may not always have the option of postponing vehicle travel, you should refrain from driving during busy times whenever possible and limit riding at night as much as you can.
- Never drink and drive. Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol is not only dangerous but also illegal. Drinking will make it harder for you to control your bike and more likely for you to experience a serious accident.
- Wear appropriate safety equipment. California law requires all motorcycle riders and their passengers to wear appropriately-fitted helmets approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation. A helmet that includes a full face shield offers the best protection without obstructing vision. Riders should also wear heavy boots and gloves with protective clothing.
- Avoid lane splitting. California recently passed a law allowing motorcyclists to lane-split, which means driving between lanes of slower-moving traffic. This can actually improve the flow of traffic in some areas and may seem safe, but it is best to avoid this practice whenever possible.
Following these tips can help you limit your risk of a motorcycle accident, but it is essential to acknowledge that you can’t always anticipate other drivers’ actions. If you are hurt in a motorcycle accident that another driver caused, an experienced Orange County motorcycle accident lawyer is your best asset if you want to maximize your recovery.
Taking Legal Action After a Motorcycle Accident
If another driver hit you or caused you to crash your motorcycle, an experienced attorney can help you hold them accountable. Your first step in recovery is to file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy. This is more difficult than it sounds and having an attorney draft your demand letter will significantly reduce the chance of the insurer pushing back against your legitimate claim. Once you exhaust the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage, your attorney can help you calculate the full scope of your remaining damages and take further legal action if necessary.
If the other driver’s insurance cannot fully cover your losses, your attorney can help you file a personal injury claim to recover the rest. California’s personal injury laws allow an injured plaintiff to seek compensation for any and all damages resulting from a defendant’s negligence. Your attorney will help you calculate your damages, prove those damages resulted from the defendant’s negligence, and guide you through the complex proceedings ahead of you.
Chris and Frank provide comprehensive and compassionate legal counsel to injured riders in Orange County. We have successfully represented many motorcycle accident claims in the past and know the devastating toll these incidents can take on riders and their families. If you have recently sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident someone else caused, we can help you hold them accountable. Contact us today and schedule a case evaluation with an experienced Orange County motorcycle accident lawyer.