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National Motorcycle Accident Statistics

While riding a motorcycle is a fun and exhilarating experience, there are risks that go along with this mode of transportation. The following are some of those hazards, like personal injuries, as well as the popular causes of accidents and times for an incident in the state of California.

Personal Injury and Loss of Life

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 4,668 motorcyclist deaths due to wrecks in the United States in 2013, which is 6.4% lower than the previous year. The number of injuries between 2012 and 2013 also decreased by 5.4%.

More than half of all motorcycle fatalities involve older motorcycle riders. Of all recorded crashes in 2013, those in which the drivers were over the age of 40 numbered over 55%. That number has steadily been increasing in recent years, and it rose by 39% from the years 2004 to 2013. Similarly, older riders tend to suffer from more serious injuries following a crash than their younger counterparts. Contributing factors possibly include the tendency of older riders to prefer larger bikes, the decline of vision over time, and the increased fragility that can accompany age.

Common Accident-Causing Behaviors in California

  • Disobeying traffic laws. In 2013, 34% of motorcycle accidents involved speeding. This is much higher than other types of vehicles, which cite speeding as a cause only 21% of the time. Moreover, one in four motorcycle wrecks involved a rider who was inadequately or improperly licensed to be operating the vehicle.

Again, this stands in contrast to typical motor vehicle stats, with only 13% accidents involving passenger-car operators lacking a proper license. There are specialized tests and stringent guidelines involved in obtaining a motorcycle license. These are in place to prepare riders for possible hazards on the road. The demand for this extra effort may be a contributing factor to the number of unlicensed riders on the road.

  • Alcohol. Riding while intoxicated is one of the most common causes of motorcycle-related injuries and fatalities. In 2013, 27% of motorcycle accidents involved a rider whose blood alcohol content was 0.08% or higher. Riders driving during the night were four times more likely to be operating their vehicle under the influence. Moreover, the instance of impaired drivers not wearing proper motorcycle safety equipment is 46%, regardless of the time of day.

Most Frequent Accident Times and Days

In 2012, the instances of motorcycle fatalities seen on the road increased markedly on the weekends. During the week, the average number of fatalities was 2,600, or 520 per day. On the weekends, that number was 2,345, or roughly 1,172 per day, which is more than twice as high as during the week. The highest percentage of fatal motorcycle crashes was found to occur between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m., with 22.8% of accidents occurring during these hours on the weekend. During the weekdays, the most dangerous time for motorcyclists was 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., with 25.8% of wrecks taking place during this timeframe.

Crash Severity as Related to Vehicle Involved

The largest number of fatal accident on a motorcycle occur when a passenger car is involved. Over 39% of fatal accidents involving a motorcycle are collisions with passenger vehicles. Similarly, passenger vehicle crashes are the main type of wreck resulting in injury to the motorcyclist. Of all injury-causing motorcycle wrecks, 57% involve passenger cars.

Responding to a Motorcycle Accident

If you or a loved one was involved in California a motorcycle accident that resulted in injury or death, consult Kevin Danesh; a highly skilled attorney at law, to help you negotiate with your insurance company and also assist in winning compensation for damages. Contact the California Motorcycle Attorneys for more information on 800.820.1111 today.

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