The thrill of motorcycle riding is bargained with its inevitable safety hazards. This rings true in most areas of the United States, including California. Of course, there exists the right of individual choice to ride a vehicle containing less safety features than a normal car. However, there are facts to be aware of when operating a motorcycle on public roads.
While individual causes of crashes is a matter of its own to be studied, the California Office of Traffic Safety reports that motorcycle fatalities per 100,000 motorcycle registrations increased from 54 in 2013 to 60 in 2014, and the percentage of motorcycle operators killed with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or greater increased from 23 percent in 2013 to 28 percent in 2014. The COTS provides precautionary tips to motorcyclists to better prepare them for dangerous road situations. Additional research shows that lane-splitting, speeding, and riding during commute hours all largely factor into motorcycle wrecks.
The Insurance Information Institute has covered more recent statistics regarding motorcycles and motorcycle accidents, estimating that there are about 8.6 million private and commercial motorcycles on U.S. roads in 2015. Out of that number, 88,000 motorcyclists were injured. Although this number decreased from 92,000 in 2014, motorcyclists were still 29 times more likely to suffer a collision than passengers riding in a car. Contrary to car crash statistics, older drivers account for more motorcycle accidents than younger cyclists. The III has also gathered the following factors leading to motorcycle accidents:
- Licensing — 27 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes drove without a valid license
- Type of motorcycle — “super sport” motorcycles lead to death rates four times higher than for those driving standard motorcycles
- Helmet use — 40 percent of the motorcyclists killed in 2015 were not wearing helmets