Motorcycle accidents are more common in California because the great weather allows for year-round riding, and traffic in cities can increase the risk of crashes. Both motorists and motorcyclists need to take extra precaution to prevent serious accidents from occurring.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, there is a 28 times higher chance a motorcycle rider will die in a crash compared to a motorist. The reasons for this include:
- Motorcycles are less stable
- It is harder for drivers to see motorcycles due to their size
- It can be more challenging to operate a motorcycle
- Road and weather conditions affect motorcyclists more
One way motorcyclists can decrease their chances of injury and death is to always wear a helmet. Since many fatalities are due to alcohol use, motorcyclists should also make sure they always drive sober.
Drivers of passenger vehicles also have a responsibility to drive safe when sharing the road. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation outlines some driving tips for motorists, which is especially important considering they are often the ones who cause the accidents. Because motorcycles are narrow and harder to see, drivers should look closely for them, especially when turning or changing lanes. Drivers should also allow for more room when driving behind motorcycles because their braking lights may not engage, and it takes them longer to stop when the pavement is slippery. Be aware that, for safety reasons, a motorcycle may move from one lane to another without much warning and that a motorcycle’s speed can be hard to judge.