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What Are the Odds of Getting in a Motorcycle Accident?

A substantial number of motorcycle accidents occur in San Diego and across the country each year. There is no simple way to determine the exact percentage of riders that get into accidents, partly because many crashes go unreported. However, the odds of a motorcyclist getting into an accident are significantly higher than those in passenger vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that in 2019, motorcyclists were close to 29 times more likely to be killed in an accident than passenger car occupants per vehicle miles traveled.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

The NHTSA also reported the following accident statistics for 2019:

  • There were 8,596,314 registered motorcycle owners in the U.S.
  • There were 975 reported accident-related injuries per 100,000 registered motorcycles, that total to approximately 84,000 injuries.
  • There were also 5,014 accident-related fatalities.

Per registered vehicles in 2019, motorcyclists were over six times more likely to be killed than passenger car occupants and almost nine times more likely than light-truck occupants.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Most motorcycle accidents are caused by negligence or the reckless or careless actions of a driver. Since motorcyclists are smaller, other motorists often fail to see or misjudge a motorcyclist’s speed and turn into their path of travel. Other common causes of motorcycle crashes are:

  • Lane splitting (sharing a lane with a vehicle, which is legal in California)
  • Speeding
  • Dangerous road conditions
  • Cars making left-hand turns, which are responsible for almost half of all motorcycle accidents
  • Riding while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Blind lane changes
  • Inexperienced riders

Motorcyclists do not have the same level of protection that cars afford their passengers. Injuries caused by a crash can be severe since riders can easily be thrown from their bikes. If the rider is not wearing a helmet, the risk of injury or death dramatically increases.

How Motorcyclists Can Avoid Accidents and Injuries

Driving safely is equally the responsibility of motorcycle riders as it is for other motorists. Here are a few tips on how motorcyclists can stay safe.

  • Understand traffic laws and follow them carefully.
  • Avoid speeding and changing lanes abruptly.
  • Obey traffic lights and stop signs.
  • Keep up with the flow of traffic.
  • Keep sufficiently away from other vehicular traffic.
  • Signal before making a turn or changing lanes.
  • Ride defensively and avoid being aggressive in road maneuvers.
  • If riding with a passenger, make sure they are seated directly behind you, as forward as feasible.

Motorcyclists aren’t the only ones who must remain cautious on the road to avoid accidents. Other drivers have a duty to others to drive safely. This involves passing motorcycles with care, avoiding abrupt lane changes, watching blind spots, and taking extra care at intersections and when making turns.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another person’s negligence, you could be eligible for damages. Get in touch with our San Diego Motorcycle Accident Lawyer today by calling (619) 238-1811 or contact us online for a free case review.