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California Motorcycle Accident Statistics



The sun is beating down, bright and hot. The sleek, warm metal hums and purrs between your legs. The wind whips at your clothes as you lean into the curve. With infamously good weather and many scenic highways, it comes as no surprise that California has the largest number of registered motorcycles. With that statistic, though, there is also a sharp increase in motorcycle accidents and fatalities.


What Has Caused the Increase In Accidents?


Aside from the volume of bikes on the roads, California is also one of the only states to have lane splitting laws. A lane split means that a motorcycle can squeeze by cars in lanes. However, lax licensing rules mean there are many riders out there who aren’t prepared for the speeds, reactions, and proper braking techniques needed to navigate California’s scenic motorways safely.


Other statistics:

  • 16,505 motorcycle accidents occurred in 2017 resulting in 15,527 injuries and 541 deaths

  • Young adults ages 25 to 34 are the most likely to be involved in a motorcycle accident.

  • Superbikes (high-speed motorcycles) are involved in more accidents than any other motorcycle type.

  • Roughly a quarter of motorcycle accidents involve intoxication or substance abuse.

  • Around 80% of all motorcycle accidents result in injury or death.

  • More than half of motorcycle accidents occur after sunset.

  • Around 20% of accidents involve a rider without a license.

What Factors Contribute to These Statistics?


A variety of influences can contribute to California’s motorcycle accident statistics, such as unsafe speeds, turning incorrectly, braking too hard or without downshifting, riding on the wrong side of the road, failing to yield, and alcohol and drug use. There’s something else to consider, too: other drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration compiled statistics in a study that suggests that more than half of all motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle are caused by the driver, not the rider.


If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact the Law Offices of Tanya Gomerman for a free consultation. Call 415-545-8608 today!

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