Challenges and Dangers Faced by California Motorcycle Riders

A tragic reminder of how quickly a motorcycle ride can turn deadly took place last weekend, when Rocklin Police investigated a motorcycle accident that left a 23 year old California man fatally injured. The accident involved a single motorcyclist and occurred outside of Rocklin, near the intersection of Stanford Ranch Road and Cobblestone Drive. While the investigation is still ongoing, Police believe that excessive speed was a factor in the crash that left this young motorcyclist fatally injured.

With thousands of miles of scenic coastlines and open highways, California provides an ideal setting for motorcycle riders and enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds. In fact, California is home to the largest amount of privately and commercially owned motorcycles in the United States, accounting for approximately 9% of all registered motorcycles nationwide. With roughly 3/4 of a million active motorcycle riders on California's roadways, it is essential that riders and motorists alike are aware of how to properly share the road.

Motorcycle riders face a higher likelihood of being involved in serious or fatal accidents than motorists in closed or passenger vehicles. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals several disturbing statistics that demonstrate just how dangerous riding a motorcycle can be:

60 out of every 100,000 registered motorcycles was involved in a fatal crash in 2013, compared to only 14 out of every 100,000 passenger cars.

Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists were approximately 26 times more likely than passenger car occupants to be killed in a crash.

Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists were approximately 5 times more likely than passenger car occupants to be injured in a crash.

With these statistics in mind, here are some safety tips that can help motorcycle riders cut down on their risk of being involved in a serious accident:

Wear Your Helmet! : California is one of 19 states in the Union that enforces mandatory helmet laws for all riders. This is good news for motorcyclists, as studies have shown that a helmet reduces a rider's risk of dying in a crash by up to 37%. Riders that do not wear a helmet are also 3 times more likely to sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury in an accident.

Know Your Equipment: Motorcycle riders choose to buy their vehicles for many different reasons. Some motorcycles focus on luxury and comfort, while others offer speed and maneuverability. However, it is important to remember that some types of motorcycles are inherently more risky than others. For example, "Supersport" motorcycles have death rates that are roughly 4 times higher than that of cruisers or standard models.

Don't Skip on Safety: Newer motorcycle models offer safety features that could save your life in the event of a crash. For example, motorcycles that are equipped with optional Anti-lock Brake Systems have a fatal crash rate 31% lower than motorcycles without this safety feature.

Many motorcycle accidents are not the fault of the rider, but can be attributed to carelessness or recklessness on the part of a car or truck driver. It is important that drivers of all types of vehicles share the road and respect all motorists. Here are some tips for other motorists to remember when driving near a motorcycle:

Stay Back: Afford motorcycle riders more space and cushion than you would normally for another car or truck. Motorcyclists must often swerve in their own lanes to avoid obstacles such as potholes, oil spots, branches or other debris. These obstacles are a minor inconvenience at worst for most cars, but for motorcycles they can be a matter of life and death. Keep back and allow at least a 4 second cushion for a rider in front of you.

Look Twice When Turning: In 2012, 40% of two-vehicle motorcycle accidents were the result of a driver turning left at an intersection while a motorcyclist continued straight. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for motorcyclists and look twice in your mirrors before making a left turn.

Check Your Blind Spots: Motorcycles are the smallest and most difficult vehicles on the road for other drivers to see. This means it can be especially dangerous when they are attempting to pass another vehicle. Before changing lanes, always turn your head to check your blind spots for riders and other drivers.

In accidents involving motorcycles, often times the crash is caused by another vehicle violating the motorcyclist's right of way. As a motorcycle rider, you are entitled to the same respect and protection afforded to all other drivers on the roads.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious motorcycle accident caused due to the fault of another driver, you will need an experienced Sacramento Motorcycle Accident attorney on your side.

At Del Rio & Carichoff, Sacramento Auto and Motorcycle Accident law firm, we are advocates for the rights of riders and will fight to secure the maximum compensation for your serious injuries. Call our legal team todayto receive a FREE, no-obligation consultation.

If we take your case, you are not responsible to pay any fees up front. You only pay your attorney a percentage of the settlement amount of your case.


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