Every year, 4,000-5,000 motorcycle riders lose their lives in fatal accidents. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), motorcyclists are 28% more likely to be killed in an accident than those in passenger vehicles. Many of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents, injuries and fatalities are entirely preventable.
5. Cars Violating a Motorcycle’s Right-of-Way
Contrary to what some drivers think, lane splitting is absolutely legal in California, and intentionally blocking or impeding a motorcyclist is absolutely illegal. However, that doesn’t mean that all vehicle drivers know that, or account for it. Motorcyclists must exercise extreme caution when traveling between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic, and be responsible for their own safety. See the California Highway Patrol (CHP) guidelines here.
4. Texting Drivers
People texting while driving is one of the biggest threats to highway safety in our country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,450 people died due to distracted driving in 2016. In 2015, there were 391,000 injuries involving distracted drivers. The risk of a traffic collision is 3.6 times greater when a driver is texting. It is completely preventable and takes little effort to put the phone down and drive.
3. Drivers Failing to Yield at Left Turns
The NHTSA reported that 41% of fatal crashes in 2016 involving a motorcycle and another vehicle were caused by other vehicles that made a left turn in front of a motorcycle that was travelling straight through an intersection, or legally passing someone else. It takes seconds to make sure the lane is clear before turning – seconds that could save a life.
2. Alcohol or Drug Impairment
According to the GHSA, 25% of motorcyclists killed in crashes were alcohol-impaired. We may also see an increase in drug-related fatalities due to recreational marijuana use being legalized in several states. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is entirely preventable. With the prevalence of rideshare options, there is no reason to be in the driver’s seat after you’ve been drinking.
1. Not Wearing a Helmet
According to NHTSA, 1,859 motorcyclists were saved by their helmets in 2016, and 802 more lives could have been saved if they had worn helmets. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helmets reduce deaths from motorcycle crashes by 37%, and reduce head injuries by 69%.
Some motorcyclists believe that helmets increase the risk of cervical spine injury; however, results of a five-year study published in a March 2018 article found the opposite is true. Helmet use reduces the risk of receiving a cervical spine fracture in a motorcycle crash.
Another good reason to wear a helmet: California law requires both drivers and passengers of motorcycles, or motorized bicycles to wear helmets that meet federal safety standards.
Injuries or deaths on a motorcycle can cause long-lasting damages, both medical and financial. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident that was someone else’s fault, our team of experienced motorcycle accident attorneys is available 24/7 to provide you with a free case consultation. Simply complete the form on this page, or call us at 888.845.9696.