Motorcycle Accidents Drop Across The U.S., Except In California
Across the country, motorcycle deaths are declining, mostly as a result of increased safety regulations. While helmet and other laws are reducing the number of motorcycle accidents yearly, California has seen an increase of 23 percent in bike accidents and fatalities between 2003 and 2011, according to a recent article.
As helmets have been shown to decrease head injuries by 69 percent and deaths by 37 percent, they have often been viewed as the best way to significantly reduce motorcycle deaths.
Why Is California Bucking The Trend?
In a ten year span after 2003, Los Angeles county saw an increase of nearly 50% on motorcycle collisions and accidents, with the state as a whole experiencing a 23% increase. The reasons for this are multi-fold. In particular, inexperienced motorcycle drivers and unaware vehicle drivers.
One practice that has received scrutiny in California is that of lane-splitting. The practice, which allows motorcyclists to ride the line between lanes while in traffic, has been allowed for many years in the state. However, in some cases, bike riders have been hit by cars that are switching lanes without paying particular attention to their surroundings.
Another factor is California’s weather. The sunny and moderate temperatures allow more opportunities for motorcyclists to ride, thereby increasing their chances of an accident.
Always Take Safety Precautions
If you’re riding in a motorcycle, remember to always:
- Wear a Department of Transportation approved helmet.
- Wear protective gear, including pants and jackets.
- Engage in safe lane splitting if necessary, and pay attention to your state guidelines on the practice.