Large Numbers of Motorcyclists in Accidents Throughout California
Many motorcyclists are injured or killed every year in California. Other drivers are often at fault.
In a climate that's beautiful year-round like Southern California's, it's not uncommon to see motorcycles on the roads any time of year. Unfortunately, some drivers don't always take into account that a motorcyclist can be nearby, and accidents often result. The numbers of motorcyclists injured and killed on California roadways are among the highest in the country. The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show a staggering 453 motorcyclists in fatal crashes in the state in 2013. This number was higher than those of the previous four years.
Not surprisingly, collisions with larger vehicles are usually devastating for the motorcyclist and can involve serious injuries despite wearing a helmet. The injuries that motorcyclists often sustain, state the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and spine injuries
- Fractures, especially to the limbs
- Road rash
Given that the vast majority of bikers killed in California over the years were wearing helmets, this shows that helmets do not guarantee safety. However, points out Consumer Reports, a helmet can reduce a biker's risk of dying of a head injury in a crash by 40 percent. State law requires all motorcyclists and riders to wear a helmet.
Common motorcycle accident types
There are numerous scenarios involving other vehicles that motorcyclists should be on the alert for, such as an inattentive driver changing lanes without looking or using the turn signal, or not giving motorcycles enough following distance. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that the most common accident type by far, accounting for 44 percent of all two-vehicle motorcycle collisions in 2013, involves a driver turning left in front of an oncoming motorcycle.
This appeared to have been the case in an accident in Long Beach last September. The Whittier Daily News reported that a 33-year-old motorcyclist ran into a vehicle that turned in front of him. He was struck by a second vehicle after the first impact. Although doctors tried to save his life, he passed away in the hospital, leaving a wife and two children behind.
In such a case, it would not be unusual for the victim's surviving family members to pursue compensation for the loss of their loved one. Motorcyclists who have been injured by negligent or intoxicated drivers may have the right to seek compensation for their medical bills and other losses resulting from a crash. An experienced Orange County car accident attorney from the Law Office of Marshall Silberberg would be able to advise them of the steps to take in a personal injury case.