When an accident involves a motorcycle, the outcome can be serious injuries or even death for the rider. Motorcycle accidents are a problem throughout the country and Orange County is no exception.
Many people might think that they know the most prevalent causes of motorcycle accidents. For example, riders might point to inattentive drivers in other vehicles as being the most likely cause of a motorcycle accident. By contrast, drivers in these other vehicles might argue that reckless riding by motorcyclists who weave in and out of traffic at high speeds is the driving force behind many accidents.
For the Federal Highway Administration, pointing fingers and doing guesswork isn't good enough when it comes to motorcycle safety. The Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, has undertaken a massive study to help understand the causes behind motorcycle accidents.
The Motorcycle Crash Causation Study will be the largest motorcycle accident research effort in the past 30 years. The idea is that both rider demographics and the design and manufacture of motorcycles has changed significantly over the years. Thus, it is important to study the cause of modern motorcycle crashes so that industry, government and education can all catch up with regard to motorcycle safety.
A portion of this study is taking place right here in Orange County. According to the Administration, Orange County is an ideal location because of its combination of flat land areas and hills. Likewise, Orange County includes both urban and rural areas and it has daily commuter motorcycle riders, as well as those who ride for leisure. Accordingly, Orange County represents a good cross-section of all riding environments throughout the country.
When the 30-month period for this comprehensive study ends, researchers may be able to definitively point to the common causes of motorcycle accidents.
Source: Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology, "Motorcycle Crash Causation Study Overview," accessed on Nov. 3, 2014