As most Californians know, motorcycle accidents are quite common on our roads and freeways. And that’s why in May, we recognize Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month here in California. But, common sense and good driving practices are necessary all year round. As recently as 2013, a study showed that motorcyclists accounted for about 14 percent of all vehicle fatalities. Motorcyclists make up about three percent of all drivers on the road, and while they may not sound like a large number, it is important that all drivers respect motorcyclists and share the road with them.
According to the latest numbers, California leads all states in the U.S. with well over 800,000 registered motorcyclists. So, it is imperative that drivers and motorcyclists work in tandem to ensure that California roads are safe for everyone. The first step is for motorcyclists themselves always wear protective gear and drive safely. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report estimated that almost 1,500 lives were saved simply by motorcyclists wearing helmets, and over 700 more could have been saved had every motorcyclist had worn one.
Sharing the road is another key factor in motorcyclists’ safety. Due to the obvious size difference, a motorcyclist can easily go unnoticed, or get stuck in another driver’s blind spot. It is important for the motorcyclist to recognize when this occurs, and to quickly move out of the blind spot before the driver turns or changes lanes. It seems elementary, but this is one of the most common causes for motorcycle accidents on California roads.
Another important aspect to road safety, and something many drivers aren’t aware of, is how closely they are following a motorcyclist. If a car or truck is less than a car length and a half behind a motorcyclist, this can lead to serious injury in the event that the motorcyclist needs to stop suddenly. A motorcyclist is far less protected than a driver of a car or truck, and much more vulnerable in the event of an accident. Even the slightest rear-end tap from another car can be devastating to the motorcyclist.
Avoiding excessive alcohol intake before riding a motorcycle is essential to safety. “Drinking and riding” is a major factor in many motorcycle accidents. In the U.S., 29 percent of fatal motorcycle accident victims had a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. In California, the number was 23 percent of fatal accident victims had the same high blood alcohol levels.
Sacramento motorcycle accident attorneys at the Demas Law Group, P.C., are experienced in representing those who have suffered a serious motorcycle accident injury. If you have suffered such an injury, it is important for you to know that insurance companies often treat motorcycle accident cases very differently than automobile accidents. Call us at (916) 444-0100.