Does California Highway + Motorcycle + Speed = Crash?

April 12, 2021
On behalf of The Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg Posted in Motorcycle Accident

The fact is, driving at a high rate of speed on a motorcycle decreases the amount of time you have to react to unexpected circumstances. And with less time to react, you must make your decision about what to do that much faster – and with fewer options. When you’re on a motorcycle the stakes are especially high because you have very little protection from external forces.

The Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney at Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg knows how seriously motorcycle drivers and passengers can be injured in high-speed accidents. Though motorcycles are often blamed for going too fast, speed is not the only factor in most motorcycle crashes.

How Often is Speed a Factor in Motorcycle Accidents?

It is very likely that speed often contributes to motorcycle accidents in some way. But it isn’t credited as the primary cause of motorcycle crashes. The number one cause of motorcycle accidents is crashing with a passenger vehicle.

Of the approximately 90,000 motorcycle accidents that occur every year in the US, about 75% involve other vehicles. The remaining accidents are single-vehicle crashes where driver error – including speed – is the cause about 66% of the time.

Though speed is not the direct cause of most accidents, it is often an aggravating factor. Crashes often occur because there is not enough time to avoid the impact. There is a direct correlation between increased speed and increased accidents.

  • More speed = less reaction time.
  • Less reaction time = more crashes.

Speed Increases Your Chances of a Bad Motorcycle Crash

Why do we have speed limits? Speed limits are set as the best compromise between the need for safety on the roads and the efficient and cost-effective movement of people and stuff.

Speed is associated with both the likelihood that a crash will occur and the severity of the damage done by the crash. Speed contributes to a motorcycle accident in the following ways.

  • Excessive speed: Driving fast for the sake of going fast can be exhilarating but it also means that you are exceeding the speed considered safe not only for yourself but for other drivers given the average condition of the roadway. You have less time to react and so do other drivers on the road. That increases the risk of an accident.
  • Speed too fast for conditions: Sometimes common sense suggests that even going the posted speed limit may not be the best idea if there are other conditions that make a lesser speed the better choice for safe travel. Bad weather, debris in the roadway, and traffic congestion are conditions where speed may not be excessive and still be inappropriate.

Because of the relative size and weight of a motorcycle compared to almost any other vehicle and the lack of protection a motorcycle provides, the damage to both bike and riders is going to be more severe the faster the motorcycle is going when it hits something.

Can You Still Recover From Your Injuries if You were Speeding on a Motorcycle?

In California, the fault for a motorcycle accident is apportioned based on the percentage of responsibility assigned to each person involved. So if you are injured in a motorcycle accident and your speed is considered to have contributed 20% to causing the accident, then you are still able to recover from 80% of your injuries. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident and suspect your speed contributed, it is crucial that you have an attorney who knows how to get you assigned the least amount of fault for the accident.

At the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg, our Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney has argued successfully on behalf of hundreds of clients to get them the best possible recovery despite having some responsibility for causing the accident. Contact us here or call 310-997-0904 for a free consultation to discuss your case.


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