Motorcycle deaths are on the rise in California, according to the Governor's Highway Safety Association. Overall traffic fatalities have dropped to their lowest levels in 50 years, but motorcycle-related fatalities have continued to increase nevertheless.
The association reports that California motorcycle fatalities were declining steadily until 2010, after which they sharply rose by 21 percent. The reasons for the dramatic rise are not entirely clear, but they may involve a combination of increased motorcycle activity and an increase in distracted motor vehicle drivers who fail to notice the motorcyclists who pass.
Recently, four motorcyclists were killed in the Inland Empire over the course of a single week, and another had already died earlier in the same month. Caltrans has consistently taken steps to reduce motorcycle-related injuries and fatalities, such as naming the month of May “Motorcycle Awareness Month” in California, but so far, raising awareness has done little to solve the problem.
The California Highway Patrol also maintains detailed statistics on motorcycle injuries and fatalities, and is responsible for the state's motorcycle safety training program. The CHP has trained more than 800,000 cyclists, on 134 different training sites. Of all the motorcycle deaths in California, 90 percent of victims are male, and as many as 13 percent of fatalities involve riders between the ages of 15 and 24.
While a little more than half of all motorcycle-related injuries and fatalities are reported to be the fault of the motorcycle rider, many riders simply fall victim to the recklessness of distracted drivers. You cannot always predict when a driver will make a sudden, unannounced lane change or cut you off in traffic, and for motorcycle riders, there is often very little time to react in these situations.
If you operate a motorcycle, there are ways in which you can minimize your chances of getting into an accident. Always make yourself fully aware of your surroundings, never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, always stay within the speed limit, and most importantly, always wear a helmet and protective gear. The clothes may be a hassle, but they may also save your life one day.
If you have been injured in a California motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your personal injury. Not all attorneys are qualified to give you the best representation, however. You need a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney who knows the finer points of traffic law, inside and out.
Nadrich & Cohen, LLP specializes in representing motorcycle accident victims and their families throughout Southern California. For more information on filing a motorcycle accident injury claim, call 1-800-718-4658 to begin your free initial case evaluation. There is never a fee unless damages are recovered on your behalf.
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