Motorcycle fatalities on the rise in California

Statistics show more motorcyclists are dying on California’s roads these days.

While the statistics in California looked promising for a few years, the number of people killed in motorcycle crashes is on the rise again.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of motorcyclists killed from 2008 to 2009 dropped significantly — from 560 to 394. Sadly, in 2012, the number of motorcycle riders killed in crashes increased from the year prior. In 2011, 415 motorcyclists were killed — that figure rose to 435 in 2012, according to the NHTSA.

Of the motorcyclists killed in crashes in California in 2012, 397 were wearing helmets at the time, while 32 were not helmeted.

Across the United States, experts have noted a similar trend, as the number of motorcyclists killed in auto accidents has been increasing in recent years. In 2012, the number of motorcyclists killed in the U.S. increased by over 7 percent, according to statistics from the NHTSA. Moreover, the number of motorcyclists who suffered injuries in such crashes rose by 15 percent from 2011 to 2012.

Other drivers must be aware of motorcyclists

One of the biggest threats motorcyclists face on the road is other drivers. All too often, individuals driving other vehicles fail to notice motorcyclists on the road.

Of course, motorcyclists can take some action to help reduce the effect of a crash, should another driver fail to notice them.

For instance, motorcyclists in California are required to wear a helmet when on the road. While wearing a helmet does not eliminate the chance of serious injuries or even death resulting from a crash, it does increase the likelihood that a motorcyclist's life will be spared if he or she is involved in a motorcycle crash. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26 lives were saved for every 100,000 registered motorcycles in California in 2010 as a result of the state's universal helmet law.

Motorcyclists should also consider wearing clothing made out of durable material that could protect them should a collision occur.

When another motorist fails to see a motorcyclist on our roads in California, the results can be disastrous. Generally, the injuries suffered by motorcyclists hit by other vehicles are severe and life changing. Therefore, when a driver causes an accident with a motorcycle in California, he or she should be held accountable. If you have been involved in such a crash, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney about the best way to protect your rights.

Keywords: California, motorcycle, accident