Motorcyclist Fatalities on the Decline in CA and Nationwide

California is the most populated state in the U.S., with approximately 37 million occupants. Car Accident Lawyers In Los Angeles It is also the third largest state in terms of land mass, covering 155,973 square miles.
With the favorable year-round climate in the southern part of the state, the seemingly endless roads and the picturesque scenery, it’s no wonder California is home to more registered motorcyclists than any other state.
With this being the case, it’s not surprising that more motorcycle accidents and related-injuries and accidents occur in California than anywhere else in the country.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that motorcycle fatalities have been on the decline since 2008. After a steady increase in motorcycle-related fatalities from 1997 to 2008, motorcycle fatalities in California have been on the decline ever since, according to motorcycle accident statistics compiled by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). California motorcycle fatalities peaked at 560 in 2008, but dropped to 394 in 2009; almost a 30 percent decrease.
What has happened in California is also mirrored by the rest of the country. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), Lawyer Success Fee motorcycle fatalities have fallen nationwide since 2008, – from 5,290 in 2008 to 4,762 or less in 2009 – a trend that continues today.
Reasons for the Decline
Multiple factors play into the rather profound recent drop in motorcycle fatalities, especially in California. Reasons cited by the OTS and GHSA include:
The Economic Downturn: This is certainly not true in all cases, but to many, having a motorcycle is an “extra.” Many motorcycle owners will use their 4-wheeled vehicles for everyday travel, and will reserve their motorcycle riding for recreation. With many people having to tighten their belts budget-wise in the midst of a slow economy, a motorcycle is a convenience they no longer can afford. Therefore, motorcycle purchases are on the decline, and many casual riders are even putting their motorcycles up for sale.
Motorcycle Awareness Campaigns: Great efforts have been taken by numerous groups around the country to promote motor vehicle operator awareness towards motorcycle riders. As any motorcycle accident law firm will attest, almost two-thirds of motorcycle accidents occur because the operator of a four-wheel vehicle failed to yield to a motorcyclist’s right-of-way; many times cutting them off by trying to maneuver in front or around them or not being aware of the motorcyclist at all. The personal injury caseload of a motorcycle accident lawyer is filled with statements and testimonies reflecting this reality.
Development of Motorcycle Safety Programs: Due to steady increase in motorcycle accidents, injuries and fatalities throughout the early 2000s, most states made motorcycle safety a priority by developing state-funded programs to provide motorcycle safety training. In some states, completing these courses allow certificate holders to bypass taking the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) maneuverability tests when obtaining their motorcycle license. Motorcyclists who pass these courses can also qualify for insurance discounts, in some cases.
Additionally, many states have made wearing safety gear mandatory for motorcyclists. This has also contributed to the decrease in fatalities. Mandatory helmet laws are now in place in many areas of the country. Law enforcement agencies are strongly urged to enforce these laws.
The decline in motorcyclist fatalities can be credited to numerous public and private agencies and organizations that joined forces in an attempt to neutralize the alarming trend that had been developing. With motorcycle safety and awareness now a major point of emphasis in our country, hopefully the downward trend in motorcycle mishaps continues, even when the economy picks back up.

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