The climate of California makes it possible for motorcyclists to comfortably ride their motorcycles year round in many parts of the country. Unfortunately, riders face many risks over their chosen mode of transportation. While there are certain actions they can perform that could reduce their chances of being involved in motorcycle accidents, many accidents are caused by the negligent actions of drivers of more traditional motor vehicles.
As such, the National Safety Council is reminding both riders and drivers about their roles during National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Motorcyclists represent a relatively small population. In fact, only 3 percent of all registered vehicles are motorcycles. Additionally, less than 1 percent of vehicle miles traveled are attributed to motorcyclists.
Despite the relative rarity of motorcycles on roadways, 4,976 riders and passengers died in 2016. An additional 88,000 riders suffered nonfatal injuries. Since 2006, fatalities have increased almost 3 percent, with an increase of 8 percent in 2015 alone.
While riders and their passengers also have a responsibility to take action to protect their safety, they often find themselves injured through no fault of their own. For example, reports indicate that one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is other motorists who make left turns at intersections. While some speculate that this is a result of drivers who are unable to judge the speed and distance of motorcyclists, others argue that slowing down and making sure that intersections — as well as any time a driver makes a left turn — are clear can help save lives. Simple actions such as leaving sufficient space between a vehicle and a motorcycle and checking blind spots before changing lanes could help protect motorcyclists in the area.
Though there are relatively simple steps that traditional motorists can take, motorcycle accidents still occur in California as a result of the failure of others to take such action. Riders experience serious injuries in some cases, while in others, families must face the devastating news of the unexpected, often preventable, death of their loved one. Fortunately, victims — including surviving family members — have options. Many choose to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, as applicable, against those parties deemed responsible.
Source: bereadylexington.com, “May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month“, John Bobel, May 11, 2018