Driving or riding on a motorcycle is an exciting, liberating experience, especially with the beautiful weather of San Diego to make the ride that much more pleasurable. Unfortunately, this enjoyment comes with significant risk of injury or death, and these numbers have been rising in recent years. Although the California Vehicle Code Section 27803 requires that everyone on a motorcycle wears a helmet, this important safety regulation has not, and will not, completely solve the issues of serious injury or death due to a motorcycle accident.
If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, contact us now to learn about the legal options available to you in order to seek financial compensation. While no amount of money will be able to help the pain and loss that you have suffered as a result of this accident, it will be able to help you focus on getting your life back on track without needing to worry about being financially liable for any of the expenses or costs related to the accident and the death.
Read more below to get a basic idea of some statistics about motorcycle deaths in California, and contact us as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation. We will be happy to explain how we can help you through this difficult time by giving you the legal advice, support, and representation that you deserve.
California Motorcycle Fatality Statistics
California has more motorcycles registered than any other state in the country with more than 800,000 private and commercial motorcycle registrations in 2018, so it should be no surprise that it is second in the country for motorcycle fatalities, only behind Florida as the most dangerous state for motorcycles. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, Motorcycle fatalities increased 11 percent from 494 in 2015 to 548 in 2016. In the same period of time, Florida reported 550 deaths in 2015, and 586 deaths in 2016, an increase of 6 percent.
In 2017, there were a total of 541 deaths as a result of motorcycle accidents, an encouraging reduction from the numbers in 2016, but still significantly higher than the 2015 motorcycle deaths. There were more than 15,000 non-fatal injuries reported in 2017 resulting from motorcycle accidents, as well, out of a total of roughly 16,000 motorcycle accidents reported. This means that roughly 90% of all reported motorcycle accidents resulted in an injury or death.
Alarmingly, and in opposition to the Vehicle Code, deaths either from not wearing a helmet or at least involving a rider without a helmet increased 9 percent from 23 in 2015, to 25 in 2016. Wearing a helmet is a good idea no matter what state you are riding in, and whether or not it is legally required.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s FARS (Fatality Analysis Reporting System), nearly 25% of motorcycle accidents in 2016 were the result of alcohol impairment.
In many accidents, even the safest and most defensive motorcycle driver may be the victim of either careless or reckless driving on behalf of drivers in cars around them. There are many different reasons for this, including the small amount of space that a motorcycle takes up in a driver’s visual awareness, and how easily a motorcycle can be lost in a blind spot while changing lanes or taking a turn across an intersection. That said, there are a variety of precautions that a motorcycle rider can take in order to increase their chances of safety in the event of a crash, regardless of who is at fault for the actual accident.
Wear Proper Protection
This includes a certified helmet, but should additionally include motorcycle body armor such as a jacket and pants with additional protection from impacts and road rash. There are a variety of protection options beyond helmets, pants, and jackets, including boots, neck, chest, and back braces, wrist guards, and more.
Don’t Drink and Drive
As mentioned above, roughly 25% of all motorcycle accidents in 2016 involved alcohol. By avoiding driving a motorcycle after drinking, you are increasing your safety by a significant amount. In addition, if you are involved in an accident and it is found that your own alcohol impairment was the cause, then you have little chance of recovering damages from the other insurance.
Follow The Rules
Driving a motorcycle can be invigorating and exciting, but even though they are fast and nimble it is no reason to violate traffic laws. When you are driving above the speed limit, you are not only at risk because of your own possible loss of control but more likely you are at risk because other drivers are not expecting such a fast-moving vehicle in their lanes of travel. This is just one reason why speed is a major factor in motorcycle and car accidents worldwide.