If you live in Valley Center or elsewhere in Southern California, now is a great time to learn more about motorcycle safety. According to a recent article in the Patch, May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in California, and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is taking steps to prevent serious and deadly motorcycle accidents throughout the state. Although the weather is warm enough year-round for motorcyclists to enjoy the streets and highways of Southern California, it is a fact that more bikers are on the road in the spring and summer months. As such, it is an important time to assess previous motorcycle safety problems and to institute better practices going forward.
High Rate of Motorcycle Accidents Last Year in California
As the article explains, we are not seeing a noticeable reduction in the rates of motorcycle accidents in California. In 2015, there were 494 motorcycle accident fatalities and more than 13,500 accident-related injuries. By 2016, the number of nonfatal accidents had increased to more than 14,000, while the fatality rate dropped, although not considerably, to 476.
Part of the reason that there are so many motorcycle accidents in California is that there is a particularly high number of licensed riders in our state. There are currently “more than 884,000 registered motorcycles and more than 1.4 million licensed riders in the state,” the article says. According to the CHP, as we mentioned, “throughout the spring and summer, the number of motorcyclists on the road will increase.”
Safety First on California’s Highways
Given the high rate of motorcycle accidents and injuries, the CHP is focused on reducing the number of motorcycle accidents and injuries and creating a safer environment for bikers. Part of that safer environment revolves around renewed campaigns to share the road, which emphasize that automobile drivers and truckers have a responsibility to motorcyclists, just as motorcyclists have a responsibility to other motor vehicles on the highway. What does the CHP recommend when it comes to sharing the road?
The CHP has the following tips for automobile drivers:
- First and foremost, stay alert to your surroundings;
- Recognize that motorcyclists can be hard to see (and thus always look twice before changing lanes or turning left);
- Use common sense when you are on smaller roads or on the highways;
- Be courteous to all other motor vehicle drivers on the road always keep safety measures in mind.
What can motorcyclists do to help prevent accidents? The CHP recommends the following:
- Always use a turn signal;
- Avoid riding in a car’s blind spot; and
- Wear a DOT-approved helmet.
Much of the May safety campaign involves raising awareness about sharing the road and understanding the differences between automobiles and motorcycles when they are on the highways together. The key is acknowledging that car drivers and motorcyclists have duties toward one another, and the sooner we take into account our own safety just as much as another driver’s, the sooner we may see a reduction in motorcycle accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
Contact a Valley Center Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you have questions about filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit, a Valley Center motorcycle accident lawyer can speak with you today about your case. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about how we can assist you.
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(image courtesy of Igor Ovsyannykov)