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Recent Motorcycle Accident Statistics in California

There are hundreds of thousands of motorcycles registered in California, giving the state the largest capita of riders in the nation. Due to this vast volume of motorcycle owners and riders, it is no surprise to find that California is often the top state in the country for the largest amount of motorcycle accidents in a given year. According to 2013 statistics – the most recent year with completed statistical reports – collected by California’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, there were close to 12,000 motorcycle riders who suffered injuries due to a traffic collision. Nearly 500 more people lost their lives.

What is going on to cause so many dangerous motorcycle accidents, injuries, and fatalities? To get a clearer picture and a possible answer, more details may be necessary.

Other California motorcycle accident statistics:

  • Motorcycle accident fatalities actually dropped between 2012 and 2013.
  • 2014 likely saw a rise in fatalities, in line with the trend of car accident fatalities.
  • Motorcycle riders are 26x more likely to die in an accident compared to a car passenger.
  • Young adults 25 to 34 are the most likely to be involved in a motorcycle accident.
  • The California winter season experiences a drop in motorcycle crashes.
  • About ¼ of fatal motorcycle accidents involve an intoxicated rider.
  • Less than 60% of motorcyclists killed in crashes were wearing helmets.
  • Close to 25% of riders in fatal accidents did not have a motorcycle license.
  • Fast “superbikes” are involved in more accidents than any other motorcycle type.
  • The most common injuries sustained to riders are head and brain injuries.

What does all this information tell us? There is certainly a message interwoven with all the statistics and numbers. Some of the details – intoxication levels, lack of helmets, traveling too quickly, etc. – reveal that rider recklessness can certainly be linked to a noticeable portion of motorcycle accidents.

However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) believes that driver negligence may be the cause of 66% of all motorcycle accidents that involve an automobile. This is backed by the fact that the most motorcycle-and-car accidents are caused when a driver turns left in front of an oncoming motorcycle. It is believed that drivers accustomed to looking out for large vehicles simply do not see or acknowledge the smaller motorcycle.

Seek Compensation When You Need It Most

California motorcycle accident data seems to suggest that the rider is usually not liable for their own motorcycle accident. But this does not mean that they will automatically be compensated for damages if they do get into a crash. Filing a claim will be necessary.

Do you need help after you were hurt in a motorcycle accident? Eliot Reiner, APLC and our Sacramento motorcycle accident attorney can help you understand your rights and prepare a solid personal injury claim. Contact us to learn more about our services and what options might be right for you.

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