California has an inviting climate, gorgeous views, and challenging rides that account for the number of motorcycles on Southern California highways. One way for an easy commute to these destinations is by motorcycle. It is easier and faster to travel to places in California on a motorcycle because motorcycles can fit in most tight spaces and can maneuver faster than the average car. California law also allows motorcyclists to lane split and ride the carpool lane, causing less traffic and more accessibility to make it to their destinations. Due to the rising prices of gasoline and automobiles, more and more people in California are opting to purchase the less expensive motorcycles.
With the rise of motorcycle riding, there is also the rise of motorcycle accidents and death in California. Since motorcycles do not offer the same metal coverage to protect their riders like other cars, they cannot protect their rider as well as they should. Motorcycles are small and fast, which makes it hard for other drivers to see them. The overall risk of getting severely injured in a motorcycle accident is much higher than it is for a car accident. In 2014, 4,694 people were killed in motorcycle accidents and about 92,000 were injured in the United States.
Motorcycles are extremely popular in California for many reasons. One of the main reasons is the beautiful sunny weather that motorcyclists can enjoy while riding along the Pacific coast. With motorcycles, a person’s average commute becomes shorter and more enjoyable, especially in areas with heavy traffic for larger vehicles. For some people, riding a motorcycle boosts confidence and makes them feel “cool”. Motorcycles make up about 3% of all registered vehicles in the United States.
In 2012 there were about 8,454,939 motorcycles registered in the United States and there are nearly 800,000 registered in California. In 2014 over 8 million motorcycles were registered in the United States and about 813,771 are registered in California. California has had the highest amount of registered motorcycles in the country for several years.
Motorcycle Death Statistics in 2014
- There were 537 motorcycle deaths in California. This is about 13% of all motor vehicle crash deaths for the state.
- The percentage of Motorcyclist deaths of Males is 92%.
- The percentage of Motorcyclist deaths of Females is 8%.
- 30% of fatally injured motorcycle drivers had over 0.08 BAC.
- 19% of fatally injured motorcycle drivers had over 0.15 BAC.
In 2014, California had 537 deaths by motorcycles which ranks it higher than the previous two years. In 2013 there were 480 deaths while in 2012 there were 466 deaths. Some of these accidents occur when riders are lane splitting, speeding, or driving while under the influence. When lane splitting, the cars do not anticipate that any vehicle or motorcycle will be passing them in slowed or stopped traffic. When a motorcyclist is speeding, they cannot anticipate or react fast enough for some obstacles in the road. Driving under the influence has been a problem for all motor-vehicles, but motorcycle drivers are no exception to this.
When riding a motorcycle, one should be extra cautious on the road in front of them because a helmet only provides limited protection. Unfortunately there is no perfect protection from injury or death and the safety gear puts the rider in better control of their bike. The risk of injury or death from a motorcycle accident can be reduced by follow these tips:
- Avoid dangerous speeds
- Let other drivers know of your plans to change lanes
- Drive sober or get pulled over
- NEVER drive in front of a car by surprise
- ALWAYS wear a helmet
Most motorcycle deaths were caused by injuries to the head and brain. The drivers might not have been wearing a helmet, so there was nothing protecting their head from a great impact. Other common types of injuries are leg and foot injuries, and internal organ injuries. Leg and foot injuries often involve fractures or amputations. Head and brain injuries often involve drivers not wearing their helmets. Internal organ injuries include blood loss, bleeding into the abdomen, and/or lacerations. A traumatic impact can cause multiple types of injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident as a result of another person’s fault, call our California motorcycle accident lawyers for a free consultation. We accept motorcycle accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there will be no cost to you, unless we recover. Our accident attorneys at Guldjian will aggressively fight for you until justice is served, whether it is through a settlement or a trial. Let us help you and your loved ones get through this difficult time. Our dedicated and caring team of California personal injury attorneys will be available to you 24/7. Call us at 888.546.5315 for a free consultation.