Both the California Highway Patrol and the California Office of Traffic Safety want people to know that motorcycle safety is a responsibility that motorcyclists and automobile drivers must share. Both organizations stressed this during the month of May, which they labeled Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Of course, every month is a good time for all people on the road to think about safety, especially when it comes to more vulnerable road users, like motorcycle riders.
Data from the California Department of Motor Vehicles shows that the state has more than 860,000 motorcycles that people have registered. Also, more than 1.4 million people in California have a license to ride a motorcycle. Those numbers alone show the importance of motorcycle safety. But in addition to that, CHP preliminary data shows that motorcycle accidents are on the rise in California.
Although the most recent CHP estimates are from a couple of years ago, they still show an alarming message. Between 2013 and 2014, accidents involving motorcycles increased by more than four percent. Even worse, the number of people who died in accidents that involved a motorcycle increased by 11 percent during the same timeframe.
Even non-fatal accidents can still result in serious injuries to riders because they have so little protection while on a motorcycle. State officials note that a large portion of motorcycle accidents are due to an automobile driver's failure to yield when they don't see the motorcycle nearby. This means that it is particularly important for drivers in other vehicles to watch out for motorcycles on the roadways.
May was Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in California, but motorcyclists and drivers in Orange County should do their best to make every month a safe one for all people on the roads.
Source: Lake County News, "CHP: Drivers and motorcyclists share responsibility for safety," Accessed on June 17, 2016