According to the California Highway Patrol's (CHP) Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, there was a 20 percent increase in the number of motorcyclists who were killed in traffic accidents from 2010 to 2011.
The trend doesn't appear to be making a change for the better anytime soon either.
Our Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorneys understand that our accident rates fluctuate for a number of reasons. We have drunk driving, weather factors and traffic volumes all complicating the risks. In recent years, the number of car accidents involving cars and trucks has increased alongside the increase in driver's use of cell phones -- even though state law prohibits some of these behaviors for most drivers. With the recent increase in motorcycle fatalities, officials attribute the fuel efficiency of the two-wheeled vehicles. They also cite the increase in older, recreational riders as reason for the increase. As a matter of fact, the number of motorcyclist fatalities has nearly doubled in the last 10 years.
As it stands now, the state of California has more than a million registered motorcycle riders. And that doesn't even count the motorcycle-riding visitors and tourists we have every year.
In 2010, there were more than 340 motorcyclists killed in California accidents. We were ranked as the third most dangerous state in the country for these types of fatal crashes, behind Florida and Texas, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Over the decade ending in 2007, the number of motorcyclist deaths increased by more than 130 percent. Injuries among these motorists increased by nearly 80 percent during this time period.
A recent press release from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) called on motorists to help bring down these numbers.
The truth of the matter is that a lot of accidents happen at intersections, and even more are the result of drivers who make turns before they actually "look" for motorcyclists.
"By looking twice, you may save the life of a motorcyclist," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.
All drivers are asked to be safe out there and to keep an eye out for our two-wheeled friends. They're much more vulnerable than occupants of passenger vehicles. They have much higher risks for spinal injuries, life-altering brain trauma and even death in the event of an accident!
Motorcyclists need to do their part, too! Stay out of the blind spots of other vehicles. Make your movements predictable in traffic and always drive defensively! Never drink and drive and avoid driving during the evening hours -- when drivers are less likely to see you out there. And always make sure that you're wearing the proper safety gear!
"As a motorcyclist, I know the importance of always wearing the right safety gear, especially a helmet, as well as being properly trained," said the general manager of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, Robert Gladden.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact HOWARD LAW P.C. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call (800) 872-5925.
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