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Motorcycle Accident Statistics

As a motorcycle rider, you should always stay informed regarding California’s motorcycle accident statistics and what the numbers mean for your safety on the road. As you may know, riding motorcycles puts you at a much higher risk for a serious injury in the event of a crash than other motorists in a car or truck.

The statistics in this post illustrate how traffic fatalities are much more common in motorcycle crashes than car accidents. Our team from Power Legal Group also discusses some safety tips for motorcyclists. 

Aggressive Personal Injury Attorneys: Power Legal Group in Los Angeles, CA

In 2013, Bobby Yaghoubian started our firm Power Legal Group, offering his skills as a personal injury lawyer to the Los Angeles and the Southern California community. Today, we assist clients from all walks of life, offering aggressive yet personalized representation and client-focused legal advice.

At Power Legal Group, we know how challenging life can be after you’ve suffered an injury in a motorcycle collision. It can significantly affect your quality of life, with seemingly endless medical bills, dealing with your insurance carriers, and any physical pain. We understand, and our team is here to help. 

If you have suffered an injury in a Los Angeles motorcycle crash, one of your first calls should be to a competent motorcycle accident lawyer. Call us at Power Legal Group today at (800) 323-7693 to schedule your free consultation.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics and Traffic-Related Fatalities in California

Did you know that over 950,000 registered motorcycles are on the road in California? With the largest number of registered motorcycles in the nation, it should come as no surprise that the number of fatal motorcycle crashes and serious injuries in our state is also higher. Let’s look at some motorcycle crash statistics from the most recent years available, gathered from these sources:

Motorcycle Fatalities and Injuries in California: Relevant Accident Statistics from 2015-2019

The following California motorcycle accident statistics are from the years 2015 to 2019:

  • Motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in a crash than people inside passenger cars, light trucks, or any other vehicle type
  • Men are more likely than women to be in a fatal crash, but women account for the greater number of passenger deaths on motorcycles
  • In 2015, 12,844 motorcycle riders suffered injuries in an accident, with 491 fatal accidents
  • In 2015, 6% of people who suffered an injury in motorcycle accidents were passengers
  • In 2016, there were 14,491 motorcyclist injuries, with 563 fatal crashes
  • According to California’s Crash Report Sampling System, 2016 saw a 15.9% decrease in the overall injury rate for vehicle miles traveled on motorcycles
  • In 2017, there were 566 motorcyclist fatalities in California, with 14,148 motorcycle injuries
  • In 2017, 30.6% of motorcycle deaths were from single-vehicle accidents with no other party involved
  • 2017 had a 1.13 mileage fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled with fatal motorcycle accidents
  • From 2018 to 2019, motorcyclist deaths have decreased 9.4% from 523 to 474
  • Fatalities resulting from not wearing a helmet decreased 18% from 2018 to 2019, from 34 to 28

Most Common Types of Motorcycle Crashes

Here’s the data from UC Berkeley’s February 2017 SafeTREC report on the five most common types of motorcycle accidents:

  1. Broadside Hit: 27%
  2. Overturned or Rollover: 18.8%
  3. Hit a Loose or Fixed Object: 16.2%
  4. Rear-End Collision: 14.3%
  5. Sideswipe Hit: 10.9%

Top Causes of Motorcycle Crashes

The top five causes of motorcycle accidents were also in UC Berkeley’s 2017 SafeTREC report:

  1. High Speeds: 29.5%
  2. Motor Vehicle Right-of-Way Issues: 18.7%
  3. Incorrect Turning: 17.4%
  4. Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs: 9.6%
  5. Unsafe Lane Changes: 5.8%

Wearing a Helmet Can Reduce Your Risk of Injury

Perhaps the saddest fact is this: Motorcyclists are much more likely to die in an accident than people in a car or truck. Passenger vehicle occupants have a few tons of steel and modern technology cradling them for protection in a crash; motorcycle drivers aren’t so lucky. For that reason and many more, one of the most hotly debated issues in the motorcycling community is universal helmet laws.

In fact, most motorcycle accidents in which the rider isn’t wearing protective gear and a motorcycle helmet are usually quite severe and can cause spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and worse. A perfect example of this is a 1994 study that sought to understand the effect of California’s 1992 law requiring the use of a helmet by motorcyclists. 

The study found that in the two years after the helmet law went into effect, motorcycle fatalities decreased by 37.5% and prevented an estimated 92 to 122 further fatalities. Also, the number of riders who suffered a head injury in fatal and non-fatal crashes also decreased. As a result, there was a 26% reduction in fatality rate, from 70.1 to 51.5 per 100,000 registered vehicles. “Registered vehicles” include two-wheeled motorcycles like cruisers, supersport motorcycles, and touring bikes.

Safety Tips for Motorcyclists

Here are some quick safety tips to keep in mind next time you take your motorcycle out for a spin:

  • Maintain constant vigilance around other drivers
  • Only practice lane splitting if you’re an experienced motorcyclist
  • Avoid distracted driving and remain focused at all times
  • Wear bright or reflective clothing, such as white or fluorescent green
  • Assume that other vehicles and passenger car occupants can’t see you
  • Always wear safety gear, like a helmet, gloves, and armored motorcycle boots
  • Avoid reckless driving and showboating

Did You Suffer an Injury in a Los Angeles Motorcycle Crash? Call Power Legal Group Today

We hope that these motorcycle accident statistics helped illustrate the importance of road safety and wearing a helmet every time you ride your bike. If you’ve suffered an injury in a motorcycle collision or car accident, time is of the essence if you want to file a personal injury suit. Don’t wait any longer—call the professionals at Power Legal Group right away. Call us at (800) 323-7693 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about the legal services we offer in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California.

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