California motorcyclists should make road safety their absolute highest priority. Although motorcycles are fuel efficient and enjoyable, motorcyclists are also nearly thirty times more likely to experience a fatal accident than automobile drivers.
Statistics indicate that 42 percent of all motorcycle fatalities involve alcohol intoxication in some way. Nearly half of the fatalities listed speeding as a factor in the accident. Simply refusing to partake in either behavior will have the effect of reducing risk by an enormous degree. Antilock brakes have also been shown to have a large effect on fatality statistics. Riders with ABS brakes saw a 37 percent reduction in the fatality rate. Helmets also have a dramatic impact on the chances of a fatal result. They have been estimated to reduce the risk of death between 21 and 31 percent.
Riders over 60 years of age are at more risk. Older riders have been shown to be three times more likely to require hospitalization after an accident. Experts also speculate that issues such as poor proficiency and wrongly-fitted equipment increase the odds of an accident or fatality. They point out that modern motorcycles are much faster than the older models and may take some riders by surprise.
Many motorcycle accidents are caused by inattentive drivers and other individuals who do not give motorcyclists the respect that they deserve on the road. Any driver who has caused an accident with a motorcycle may have committed a crime under California law as well as leaving themselves legally liable for the damage that has been done to the motorcycle and the injury that has been done to the rider or riders. The motorcyclist or any passenger may choose to press a lawsuit against the irresponsible driver and claim compensation for their damages.
Source: Consumer Reports, "10 motorcycle safety tips for new riders", December 12, 2014
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