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Motorcycles: Fast, Sleek and a Statistical Anomaly for Traffic Risk

January 10, 2020 Blog

The San Diego community is still reeling over the crash that left the owner of Rosie’s Café in Escondido severely injured and hospitalized. Kaitlyn Rose “Rosie” Pilsbury, whose popular San Diego restaurant was featured on Restaurant: Impossible, was struck on her motorcycle by an SUV driver who then fled the scene on December 21, 2019.

Our team knows how catastrophic motorcycle accident injuries can be, because we have seen them firsthand. We have represented motorcyclists who were struck by negligent drivers, and, people who were hurt by negligent motorcyclists. One of our clients was a pedestrian when a motorcyclist blew through a red light and collided with a taxicab, sending the bike hurtling into her. She suffered a concussion with post-concussive syndrome as well as head trauma, lacerations, and other injuries. Our team also represented a man who was thrown from his motorcycle when a car turned into his path and struck him. He sustained a collapsed lung, fractures, a dislocated thumb, and a partially degloved foot.

The crash that hurt Rosie is made all the worse by the fact that the SUV driver has not yet come forward to take responsibility.

Staggering Motorcycle Crash Statistics in San Diego

Motorcycle accidents are a major problem in San Diego, which has the fourth highest motorcycle crash death rate among all California counties. Statewide, the statistics are even more grim. Motorcycle-related fatalities in California accounted for more than 15 percent of the total motor vehicle fatalities in the U.S. in 2016. In addition, more than 14,000 motorcycle-related accidents resulted in injuries that year.

Laws to Protect California Drivers and Motorcycle Riders

To help prevent motorcycle crashes, California has a variety of laws in place regarding road behavior, gear, and equipment. For example, motorcycle riders and passengers must wear a U.S. DOT compliant safety helmet. Every street-legal motorcycle must also have tires with sufficient tread and air pressure, properly functioning headlights, taillight, brake light and turn signals, and more. All motorcyclists and their passengers should review the California Motorcycle Handbook to ensure they comply with all state laws.

Stringent laws and enforcement are not enough. As Dr. Savage points out, risky behaviors like riding and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs disproportionately account for traffic fatalities. So, for the motorcycle enthusiasts out there – and the motorists who share the road with them – practicing vigilance on the road, driving sober and distraction-free, and obeying traffic laws will help keep us all a little safer.

Motorcycles an ‘Outlier’ in Terms of Traffic Risk, NYT Says

The New York Times took a closer look at a variety of unnecessary risks that explain why accidents and unintentional injuries were the third-most-common cause of death of Americans in 2017. Not surprisingly, riding a motorcycle made the list as an “outlier” in transportation fatality risks. In fact, motorcycles are 29 times deadlier per passenger-mile than cars, according to Ian Savage, professor of economics at Northwestern University and author of the paper, Comparing the fatality risks in United States transportation across modes and over time. While driving a passenger vehicle is safer than riding a motorcycle, Dr. Savage notes that an even safer form of transportation is the bus – about 1,930 times safer than a motorcycle.

If you are Involved in a motorcycle accident, move to safety as quickly as possible, call for help and seek medical attention once you are out of the way of traffic. Finally, protect your legal rights. Learn more motorcycle crash FAQs here and what to expect when seeking legal help from a motorcycle accident attorney in San Diego.