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How Often Do Motorcycles Crash?

Man holding steering wheel in car accident

Approximately 236 motorcycle crashes result in injuries every day in the United States, with an average of about 86,000 total injuries from crashes per year (2011-2015). According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 88,000 motorcyclists were injured, with 4,976 reported deaths in 2015 alone. The amount of motorcycle accident injuries in the U.S. have also been on the rise, jumping from 52,000 in 1995, to a whopping 98,000 in 2007. The trend then tapered down to 77,000 in 2011, before drastically jumping back up to just under 90,000 in 2012, where it has plateaued.

Motorcycle accident-related injuries have been on the rise in the U.S., possibly because there are millions of more motorcycles on the road, and perhaps, also due to the rise of “distracted drivers,” taking their hands off the wheel to use their cell phones.

California motorcycle injury statistics

California saw a decrease in motorcycle injuries during 2016, while the entire country saw an increase (+4,000). However, California, because of its vast population size (over 39,000,000), still had the second-most motorcycle injuries compared to every other state, except for Florida.

In 2015, 27% of California motorcycle fatalities involved riders who did not have a valid motorcycle license. Furthermore, 42% of all motorcycle riders who were killed in a single-vehicle collision were alcohol-impaired. (The term “alcohol-impaired” defines motorcycle riders with blood alcohol concentrations of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher.)

Lack of preparation and lack of sobriety are just two factors that account for riders in California being 29 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die after suffering through an accident. The more we can avoid these inebriating factors, the better off we’ll be.

Safe riding is fun riding

With 881,386 registered motorcycles in California and an additional 34,509,961 registered vehicles, there’s a lot of room for motorcycle accidents to happen. You can do your part to prevent a motorcycle accident by using these tips to be a safer rider.

10 useful motorcycle safety tips:

  • Wear safety gear, like state-compliant helmets, gloves, and reflective jackets.
  • Stay in your comfort zone. Avoid unnecessary risks and showboating.
  • Inspect your motorcycle often. Check for leaks, tire pressure, and body damage.
  • Don’t rely on just your mirrors when switching lanes. Use your head!
  • Aim long, and always err on the side of caution when approaching intersections.
  • Avoid riding under stress. Don’t use your MC as a form of therapy.
  • If you have a passenger, be 100% comfortable with the extra weight.
  • Pay attention to the weather, and avoid riding in storms or rain showers.
  • Acknowledge other riders. They have your back, remember that.
  • Have fun! Motorcycles are amazing, so long as you’re safe. Enjoy the ride!

No one likes to be told how to live their life – especially motorcyclists – but there’s no denying that riding sober, knowing your limits, and wearing the proper safety gear will significantly decrease your chances of injury.

Most times, the other car is at fault

Although you may ride responsibly, another motorist may not. In these cases, it’s not hard to prove that the driver was at fault in a passenger-vehicle crash.

According to the famous 1981 Hurt Report, “In two-thirds of motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle rider’s right of way and caused the accident.”*

For instance, as cell phone usage has caused a dramatic rise in “distracted driving” (which is perhaps directly correlated to the increase in motorcycle injuries), many passenger car motorists think they can lie to the judge and say they weren’t on their phone at the time of the incident.

All it takes is a subpoena to obtain phone records and you’re looking at one potentially hefty settlement.

If something happens, you need to be prepared

At Wilshire Law Firm, we represent riders who are involved in motorcycle accidents, every day. Almost 30% of our cases involve these types of accidents.

We know all the complicated ins and outs of dealing with motorcycle-related crashes, and we truly understand the sensitivities involved with the aftermath of these, sometimes tragic, incidents.

With all the factors that go into these types of extra-sensitive personal injury cases, it’s extremely important that your family relies on attorneys they can trust.

If you have been in a motorcycle accident, or know someone who has, you may be entitled to a substantial settlement. Your first call should be 911, then, call Wilshire Law Firm at 1-800-522-7274. We strongly advise you to save our number in case of a future emergency.

Our expert motorcycle accident lawyers can be reached 24/7, 365, and are ready to assist you every step of the way – helping to manage medical expenses, repairs, and, of course, dealing with insurance companies.

**The Hurt Report – Once considered the most important motorcycle safety report of the 20thcentury, this report has been argued to be invalid, due to the following changing factors in motorcycle riding:*

  • Motorcycle Engineering
  • Changes User Population Changes
  • Automobile Engineering Changes
  • Roadway Environmental Changes

Insurance Information Institute
LA Times