A Primer on California Motorcycle Safety - Kornberglawfirm
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A Primer on California Motorcycle Safety

Even though autumn is upon us, it is never too late to think about motorcycle safety. Yes, more motorcycle riders are on the roads in the summertime, but with California’s temperate climate, they can be seen any time of the year. It is important for both motorcyclists and passenger/commercial vehicle operators to be aware of the inherent dangers of sharing the road and for each to take steps to avoid accidents whenever possible.

SAFETY PROGRAMS ARE HAVING AN IMPACT

The year 2009 saw a marked decrease in the number of motorcyclist fatalities for the first time since 1997, but there were still nearly 5,000 deaths around the country and many thousands of injuries. Given the fact that motorcycle riders are nearly 40 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident than other motor vehicle occupants, and nearly 10 times more likely to be injured, safety must remain at the forefront.

Studies have shown that several key behaviors can dramatically increase the chances of avoiding injury in a single-vehicle or multi-vehicle crash while you are on your motorcycle. These include:

  • Be familiar with all vehicle codes relating to the operation of motorcycles
  • Not travelling too closely to vehicles
  • Not sharing lanes
  • Always keeping a lookout for all vehicles around you
  • Using extra caution around large trucks and vehicles
  • Using the HOV (high occupancy vehicle or carpool) lane when available
  • Avoid construction and rough roadways
  • Be sure your bike and tires are in good condition at all times
  • Wearing a helmet to prevent head injury – 41 percent of riders suffering fatal injuries in accidents were not wearing a helmet
  • Wearing protective gear like leathers to avoid “road rash” should you slide the bike
  • Making your bike and clothing conspicuous through the use of custom paint, reflective tape strips or additional lights
  • Not speeding – 35 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents were speeding
  • Never drinking and riding – this is even more important on a motorcycle, as riders need to have faster reaction times to avoid injury since they cannot rely on the external protections offered by a passenger vehicle
  • Taking a state-certified motorcycle operation training program

Of course, not every motorcycle-versus-car accident is the fault of the motorcyclist. It is equally important that the operators of other vehicles share the road and respect the rights of motorcycles. If you or a loved one has been injured in a single- or multi-vehicle motorcycle crash, seek medical attention immediately. If able to, you should request a police report, and get the names of any witnesses. It is also wise to take photos of the vehicle, injuries, and accident scene. As soon as possible after the accident, seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to learn more about your legal rights and options. Call the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg in Los Angeles at 310-997-0904 for fast and accurate advice on how to win your case.