California is one of the few places in the United States in which motorcyclists can ride every month of the year – meaning motorcycle safety is not merely a seasonal concern in the Golden State but a yearlong obligation. Indeed, the duty to practice safe driving techniques is particularly important given that the likelihood of being involved in an accident is quite high while riding a motorcycle, especially when compared to the risks associated with other types of motor vehicles.
For instance, according to data reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 93,000 individuals injured in motorcycle accidents in the U.S. during 2012 alone, the most recent year for which information is available. Sadly, this represented an increase of 12,000 injuries from just one year before.
Unfortunately, these injury statistics are not terribly surprising, particularly given that motorcyclists have very little protection around them when involved in an accident – unlike other motorists who may be traveling within a car or truck. In fact, catastrophic injuries are quite common, and can include:
However, not only is serious injury likely during a motorcycle accident but the risk of death is also higher when compared to accidents involving other vehicles. For example, despite the fact that motorcycles make up only 3 percent of all vehicles in the U.S. – and account for less than 1 percent of all miles traveled – 15 percent of all traffic fatalities involve motorcyclists, according to the NHTSA.
Thankfully, there are many things that motorcyclists can do to help reduce the risk of injuries and/or accidents, including:
Tragically, even if motorcycle riders practice safe driving techniques, it is no guarantee they will be accident free. Indeed, often times, motorcycle accidents occur because of the negligent actions of other drivers on the road, such as when car or truck drivers fail to adequately check their blind spots for motorcycles when turning or changing lanes.
Fortunately, however, motorcyclists may have legal remedies available if they are injured by the negligent acts of other motorists, although every situation is different. Accordingly, if you or loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible in order to learn what options may be available.