In a recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, 2015 was one of the worst years on record for Motorcycle fatalities. It was the third year in history that fatalities were over 5,000. 2015 saw a 10 percent increase from 2014, in which 4,548 bikers were killed in accidents. However, this national trend was not present in every state.
In California, motorcycle deaths fell by 7 percent. However, California is one of the most populous states in the country. As such, we had the second most motorcycle deaths in the nation. The only state with a higher death rate was Florida. With this nationwide trend, questions are being raised as to why more people are being killed on motorcycles.
Theories for the Trend
One of the most important reasons more people are being killed on the road is climate change. There were far fewer cold winter days last year, increasing the number of days bikers were on the road. In addition, NATO stopped falsely inflating gas prices. While countries like Venezuela that rely on oil suffered, more American drivers were driving due to the drop in gas prices.
As the economy took an uptick and saw a more complete recovery from the 2008 recession, more people had the funds to purchase bikes. Naturally, more motorcycles on the road means more accidents. Finally, more states became more lax about their Helmet laws. Only 19 states require all riders to wear helmets, including California.
The Benefits of Helmets
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the risk of death during a motorcycle wreck decreases by almost 40 percent when the rider wears a helmet. It also reduces the risk of brain and head injuries. That means more than 700 lives could have been saved in 2013 with better helmet laws.
And these laws are the answer. If it’s not illegal, there are riders who will go without a helmet, no matter the risk. Education does practically nothing when it comes to helmet wearing. However, the laws increase helmet wearing to nearly 100 percent in places in which they are in place. At the end of the day, however, riding a motorcycle is simply risky. The fatality rates of motorcyclists is 26 times higher than passenger vehicles. In California, motorcycle deaths contributed to nearly 20 percent of all road fatalities in 2013.
If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a motorcycle accident in San Luis Obispo, you have legal options. Contact the Ernst Law Group today. Your initial consultation is free.
The post Motorcycle Fatalities on the Rise — But Not in California appeared first on Ernst Law Group.