For a minute, it seemed like motorcycle safety was on everyone's mind in California. The lane-splitting bill - that has now been put on hold until the next legislative session - had both motorcyclists and non-motorcyclists, arguing about the possible new law.
Motorcycle riders face many hazards on the road, and are often at risk of sustaining serious personal injuries if involved in a motor vehicle accident. One of the questions often posed regarding motorcycle travel is whether it is safe for motorcyclists to split lanes with other vehicles.
For many years, motorcyclists, traffic safety advocates and everyone in between have been debating the appropriateness and efficacy of universal motorcycle helmet laws, which require every biker, regardless of age or level of experience, to wear a helmet at all times when on a motorcycle. Pro-helmet advocates say that helmets are the only way to protect motorcyclists who from serious injury and death. Motorcyclists say that they should be able to decide whether or not to wear a helmet for themselves.
Last year, approximately 4,500 people were killed in motorcycle accidents in California and across the country. This means that about one out of every seven people who died on U.S. roads did so in motorcycle-related crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are about 30 times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident than drivers and passengers are to die in car crashes.
Every year, more than 4,500 people are killed in motorcycle-related accidents in the U.S., according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And as we mentioned in a recent post on our San Diego personal injury blog, motorcycle accident deaths are actually on the rise in California, increasing by 20 percent from 2010 to 2011. As such, it seems that more needs to be done to promote motorcycle safety to drivers and motorcyclists alike.
According to preliminary data from the California Highway Patrol, motorcycle accident deaths are on the rise in San Diego and throughout the state. This increase reverses a three-year decline in motorcycle-related fatalities, indicating that drivers in the state may need a reminder of how to drive safely and cautiously around motorcycles and other smaller vehicles.
According to a new set of studies, a motorcyclist is at the highest risk of being involved in a motorcycle accident during his or her first year on the road. In fact, that risk is the highest during the motorcyclist's first 30 days of riding, which are an average of four times more dangerous than his or her entire second year on the bike.
If you regularly drive a motorcycle, you are likely aware of the many inherent dangers that a bike carries. Motorcyclists must always be aware of the road and other vehicles around them in order to avoid being involved a motorcycle accident that could very easily result in injuries or even death. They must even, at times, take a measure that will almost certainly damage the motorcycle or cause injuries, in an effort to prevent an even more catastrophic incident.
Last week, we began a series on motorcycle safety tips for new riders. Because many motorcycle accidents are caused by lack of experience, being aware of potential downfalls and opportunities for injury is essential for riders who are just starting out.
Many people who buy motorcycles do so after a lifetime of waiting and wanting to make that big purchase. As such, new motorcycle riders are often quick to get out on the road and ride, and many fail to take the necessary precautions that can protect them from accidents, injuries, or even death. Therefore, in the interest of helping to prevent California motorcycle accidents, we are going to share a few common safety tips for new riders.