Fatal Motorcycle Accidents Increasing In California
Department of Motor Vehicle’s records recently disclosed that fatal motorcycle accidents have increased every year since 1990. Between 2007 and 2008, the latest records available, there was an increase in motorcycle fatalities from 516 in 2007 to 560 in 2008, that represents a 10 per cent increase in just one year. This is from a report in the Santa Paula News that reported an increase in motorcycle accidents in the state of California.
Although the percentage of motorcycle fatalities in the under 20 year old age increased 57 per cent from 13 fatalities in 2007 to 30 fatalities in 2008, the number of fatal motorcycle accidents for the over 59 year old age group went from 32 fatalities to 57 fatalities in 2008. DMV records also found that 37 per cent of the motorcycle operators killed did not have the proper motorcycle license.
No Helmet Increases Motorcycle Fatalities
Another interesting statistic revealed that of the 560 fatal motorcycle accidents, 68 motorcyclists were not wearing a helmet. It is estimated that had those motorcyclists worn a helmet, 26 of them may have survived the motorcycle accident. 211 motorcycle operators or passengers were riding a super sport motorcycle that resulted in a motorcycle fatality.
The super sport model is a consumer version of a motorcycle used by the factory racing team. These high performance models represented 38 per cent of fatal motorcycle accidents in 2008. In a story of increased motorcycle accidents in the Orange County Register, CHP Officer Gabe Montoya said the climate in southern California lends itself to an increasing number of riders.
“Down here, you can pretty much guarantee that you’re only going to have a couple days out of the year when you have to worry about the weather,” he added, “You (also) have that problem of people who are not traditionally motorcycle riders who are turning to them because of the economy.” Montoya went on to say there were three distinct types of motorcycle operators in Southern California.
Motorcyclists Increase Due To Economy
These types include the Monday to Friday motorcycle commuters, weekend riders, and inexperienced operators trying to save money on gas. This comment made a lot of sense to me. Has this economy put Californians into a position where they must ride a motorcycle for many of those long commutes familiar to Southern Californians?
By combining opinion with statistics, the economy may emerge as one possible reason for the steady increase in fatal motorcycle accidents. The high percentage of super sport motorcycles being purchased by inexperienced operators could be another reason for the trend.
Motorcycle operators not properly licensed could well be another cause since they would not necessarily have the proper training to operate a motorcycle. Regardless of the reason for the steady increase in fatal motorcycle accidents in California, it’s evident that steps should be taken to reverse this trend. For the current Motorcycle Handbook from the DMV, click here, reduce fatal motorcycle accidents. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact our motorcycle accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Nadrich and Cohen, we can help you.