Have the “Share the Roads” public education campaigns succeeded in reducing the number of motorcycle accidents on California roads? Although in the past, the number of motorcyclists killed on highways and byways was thought to be on the decline, it is still too high. Figures from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS HLDI) give a compelling picture.

California Motorcyclist Death Rate is Higher than the National Average

Citing 2014 figures, the Institute reveals that 17 percent of the state’s crash deaths involved motorcyclists. The national average is 13 percent. In fact, the 17-percent figure shows that California’s roads are among the most dangerous in the nation. While Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Nevada, New Hampshire and Rhode Island come in one or two percentage points higher, the Golden State beats, or is on par, with the others.

Effectiveness of the California Helmet Law

California mandates that all motorcycle riders must wear helmets. Although there are still some who are not following the law, by and large, the message has gotten out. As noted by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 7 percent of people killed in 2011 motorcycle crashes did not comply with the helmet law. These figures do not break down the use of helmets that are not compliant with Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements.

What Does This Mean for You?

Our state’s roads are among the most dangerous when you rely on your motorcycle for transportation. While sometimes it is the weather or operator error, at other times the rider falls victim to a motorist who did not see the smaller motorcycle. Left turns, in particular, are among the most dangerous moves that you can make in traffic while relying on this form of transportation. If you are involved in an accident, file a police report and seek immediate medical attention. Then, contact us for information on how to protect your legal rights.


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