Whether you enjoy the thrill of being on the back of a bike or are a fan of the cheaper price tag compared to larger motor vehicles, there are a lot of reasons to drive a motorcycle. Sadly, California might not be the safest place to explore by motorcycle. Overlooking motorcyclists is a significant contributing factor to motorcycle accidents.
If you have spent any time at all in the motorcycle community, you already know just how devastating even a single accident can be. It may come as no surprise to you that, in 2018 alone, motorcycle accidents caused nearly 5,000 deaths. That same year, motorcyclists were more than 25 times more likely to suffer a fatal injury compared to occupants in passenger vehicles.
It is not the weather
While inclement weather can certainly play a role in accidents involving both motorcycles and larger vehicles, it is not as big a factor as you might think. According to Bankrate, 89% of motorcycle fatalities in 2018 occurred in good weather conditions. Rain only contributed to 2% of deaths, while fog only played a role in .36%.
Setting has a higher impact on motorcycle fatality rates. More motorcycle deaths occurred in urban areas, accounting for approximately 61% of all deaths. Around 39% of motorcycle deaths took place in rural areas.
Types of motorcycle injuries
Motorcyclists tend to suffer much more severe injuries than motor vehicle passengers. This is because motorcyclists have fewer protections and are typically much more exposed. The types of injuries that motorcyclists are at risk for include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash
These injuries are often fatal. Those who survive these injuries may still face long-term health problems. Paralysis and amputations are not at all uncommon outcomes of serious accidents.
Wearing a helmet is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself while riding a motorcycle. Helmets greatly reduce the rates of serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. More and more motorcyclists are wearing helmets too, growing from 61% of motorcycle riders in 2016 to 71% in 2017.
Those who survive serious motorcycle accidents often count themselves as lucky. However, surviving an accident is often the first step. You might still have months or even years of recovery ahead of you, not to mention medical bills and lost wages from missing work. Getting help is typically the key to recovery, so you may want to explore your options for securing compensation in California.