Motorcycle accidents have the capability to kill or catastrophically injure their victims, as motorcycle riders have no protection against unfavorable road conditions and unsafe drivers. Riders who are lucky enough to survive a motorcycle accident may face traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. Accidents are caused by factors such as poor driver visibility, unsafe driving, poor weather and unsafe road conditions. In 2012, 451 motorcyclists were killed and 11,472 injured on California roads.
Motorcyclists are always at risk for being hit by unsafe drivers who fail to see them in time, so it is no surprise that intersections are the site of most accidents. Distracted or impaired drivers also represent a threat, taking away any chance that a driver will be paying attention and looking for smaller vehicles on the road. Accidents are also likely to occur in areas where visibility is poor.
How Has California Responded to Motorcycle Safety?
California uses a motorcycle safety program operating through the California Highway Patrol to help reduce the number of fatal accidents. Motorcyclists can sign up for short courses where they can learn about how to avoid danger and how to react to specific situations.
After completing the course, would-be motorcyclists get a certification that they can then take to the California DMV. Applying for a motorcycle permit is strict in California, and people with a learner’s permit cannot operate their motorcycle at night, drive on the freeway or carry any passengers on their motorcycle.
In California, it is a state law that riders must wear a motorcycle helmet. Motorcycle helmets reduce the odds of a fatal accident and sustaining a TBI. Although California allows lane splitting, where motorcycles share a lane, there is still debate over whether or not the practice is unsafe.
Other motorists have an obligation to look out for smaller vehicles and pedestrians. Motorists who fail to uphold their obligation to drive safely and responsibly may not only face criminal charges in some circumstances, but can also face civil suits for damages.
Bonnici Law Group is a San Diego injury law firm with decades of experience defending people who have been wrongfully injured by others. You can learn more about us by visiting our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Bonnici Law Group, APC – San Diego Injury Attorney
Did You Know? According to 11 separate studies, motorcyclists who were wearing a helmet had a 46 to 85 percent less chance of sustaining a traumatic brain injury.