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Motorcycle Accidents on the Rise in California

As San Diego accident attorneys, we are concerned by reports that motorcycle fatalities are on the rise in California after several years of decline. We support the efforts of the California Highway Patrol to raise awareness of safe driving by motorcyclists and drivers.

According to a CHP press release, 20 percent more motorcyclists were killed in 2011 than in 2010. Motorcyclists were also over represented in overall numbers of traffic deaths.

To reduce the number of accidents, the CHP is calling on both motorcyclists and drivers to share the road responsibly. “Everyone on the highway plays an important role in preventing collisions,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Motorcyclists are encouraged to ride safely and defensively, while drivers need to look out for motorcyclists who are sharing the road.”

Below are a few specific tips from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation:

For Drivers

  • Due to it's smaller proportions, a motorcycle can easily be lost in your blind spots. Give yourself an extra second to check for motorcyclists before changing lanes or turning.
  • Also due to its size, a motorcycle may appear to be farther away than it really is. Assume that a motorcycle is closer than it looks before turning.
  • Motorcyclists may change speed without activating the brake light. Give a motorcyclist more room and assume that they will slow down without much visual signal.
  • A motorcycle may not be able to dodge out of the way - give them room as you drive to make sure they have enough space.

For Motorcyclists

  • Wear a quality helmet, eye protection, and bright clothing.
  • Don’t ride when you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Know and follow the rules of the road, and stick to the speed limit
  • Give yourself space and time to respond to other motorists’ actions. Similarly, give other motorists time and space to respond to you.
  • Use lane positioning to be seen; ride in the part of a lane where you are most visible.
  • Be aware of the blind spots cars and trucks have.