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Date Modified: July 2, 2023

Are you a personal injury victim, researcher, biker, or just a curious M/C Sergeant at Arms trying to discover the total number of fatal accidents or injury rates riders face in our inviting climate? Did you know that in 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety (NHTSA) declared California second on its list of most dangerous states for people injured and killed in motorcycle accidents? And this makes sense seeing how California has the most significant volume of motorcycles than any other state.

Before studying law, I was a complex litigation paralegal, helping with writs and appeals in motorcycle accidents and other injuries and civil rights cases.

Expertise, Authority, and Trust

Camp Pendleton Injury Law FirmI am California motorcycle lawyer Michael Ehline at the Ehline Law Offices. I am an honorably discharged, service-disabled U.S. Marine. As a law student, I worked as a judicial extern at the Ronald Reagan Building in Downtown Los Angeles, CA, for the California State Court of Appeal (4th District) located at 300 South Spring Street.

The team at my California office has more than 30 years of combined experience handling motorcycle accidents. We have handled many motorcycle accidents, recovering millions on behalf of thousands of clients through our exceptional legal help.

Using my expertise as one of California’s top motorcycle accident attorneys, I will use some figures from the California Highway Patrol. I will also use a few other local and federal sources to explain the deplorable state of our roads and traffic safety regarding motorcycle crashes. After reading all this, you may start figuring out why any motorcycle rider would even live in this state other than for lack of bad weather.

Let’s look at fatal accidents and why California motorcycle accidents and statistics are nothing to laugh about despite universal helmet laws and other highway safety rules for bikers. Regarding motorcycle crashes, California motorcycle accident statistics are still quite sobering.

Learn More About Motorcycle Accident Fatalities in C.A. Here

Recently, California has seen the highest number of riding deaths from motorcycle accidents versus big trucks, buses, taxis, Ubers and other automobiles. Motorcycle accident victims suffering from fatal motorcycle accidents are increasing, only adding to the horrific California motorcycle accident statistics we see on the evening news almost every other day.

Our motorcycle accident attorneys in Los Angeles face these issues daily, with more and more motorcyclists killed by no fault of their own in many motorcycle accidents, let alone any justification.

Bad Government Means More Fatal Motorcycle Accidents?

Avoiding motorcycle accidents is not just about unsafe speed or wearing a helmet. Motorcycle riders, in particular, understand fatal motorcycle accidents and how easy they are to occur here, given the lack of personal responsibility. Many riders complain about poor governance or even poor citizenship, for that matter. Sanctuary cities and other policies mean less financial and personal security for all Californian citizens, including more motorcycle accidents.

In California: 

  • The high number of Draconian regulations
  • Expensive social engineering
  • Poor road maintenance
  • Catch and release
  • Defund the police
  • High gas taxes
  • High crime.

In the end, all this adds up to more motorcycle accidents and fatal crashes leading to more and more head and brain injuries, as will be discussed thoroughly. With these motorcyclist deaths and serious injuries, we must determine the risks versus benefits of motorcycle crashes and traffic safety.

This poor leadership has cut considerably into the solemn property rights of Citizens domiciled in the Republic, especially if they suffered a California motorcycle accident. Employers and many small businesses’ ability to make a profit mean that mom-and-pop shops that create most jobs are closing their doors. If you want to afford to stay here, you may ride to save money and increase the risk of more motorcycle accidents.

Job Creators Fleeing the State?

Jobs and job creators are fleeing California in record numbers leaving behind what the majority voted upon themselves. Forming an attorney-client relationship after an accident is not the best of both worlds. Let’s look at the injury and fatal accident numbers caused by motorcycle accidents, and some solutions with America’s best traffic safety motorcycle attorney, Michael Ehline, Esq.

Less Money for Gas High Gas prices = more motorcycle accidents?

Because of outrageously high fuel costs, many astute individuals turn to motorcycles to afford to remain in the beautiful Golden State. Many don’t want to move to a more economically free state like Texas, U.S.A., even though C.A. seems more concerned with protecting criminals than taxpayers. Most cannot afford the Chinese Communist battery-fueled cars the single-party state of California is seeking for all residents here. All this does is lead to more motorcycle accidents.

California Dreaming

Of course, riders enjoy the thrill and excitement of riding along the coast and NorCal Bay Area. But motorcycle accidents are par for the course.

AWOL and Military Personnel

Many members of the armed forces, especially young Marines, ride to and from places like 29 Palms, through Oceanside, San Diego, and Camp Pendleton quickly. If it weren’t for the military bases and avoiding missing man formations, Absent Without Leave (AWOL), or U.A., the military personnel who ride motorcycles would probably see fewer casualties from United States motorcycle accidents.

Motorcycle Crash Upside to the Mass Exodus?

Happily, as the people who pay the taxes and create jobs flee, the traffic eases. But California is the Mecca of motorcycle riding in the U.S.A. Listed by as having the “Top 100 Motorcycle Roads,” its sunny climate, breathtaking views, and historic Route 66 bring in motorcyclist riders from around the world. As a result, California maintains the highest number of registered motorcycles in the nation. 

Deaths And Serious Accidents

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, there are over 4 Thousand motorcycle fatalities annually on America’s roads. Furthermore, one of the most common causes of death is a head injury from motorcycle accidents. According to the C.D.C., Motorcycle fatalities occur at far higher rates than in other automobile accidents.

Also, government statistics show that motorcyclists are 37 times more likely to die due to such a crash. This number is even more shocking, considering motorcycles are just 2% of all registered vehicles.

Unfortunately, motorcycle accident fatalities are on the rise nationwide. Between 1997 and 2008, there was not a single year in which deaths declined. The increase in motorcycle accidents is not due to more motorcyclists. Instead, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the rate increased separately from the bikes’ rise.

Deaths and severe accidents from pedal-powered bicycles and motorcycles have steadily increased since at least 1998. Noteworthy is the undisputed fact that California is the number one driver of motorcycle fatalities and collisions. [1. Motorcycle Fatalities By State] Experts characterize some of these wrecks as single-vehicle collisions (only the motorcycle is involved). Still, most arise when another vehicle strikes the bike and rider.

Ever Increasing Death Toll From Motorcycle Accidents

In 2006, vendors and private parties sold over 1 million motorcycles to veteran and novice motorcyclists. And as motorcycle popularity is increasing, so is the rate of motorcycle accidents. For example, between 1997 and 2006, motorcycle fatalities increased by over 127%.

Of particular interest to researchers, the increased rate of accidents isn’t due to the more significant number of motorcycles on the road. The rising accident trends debacle shows that motorcycles comprise only 2% of all registered motor vehicles. But their reported crash and mishap rate was 10% of all roadway calamities.

Motorcycles Deaths Compared to Deaths by Car Occupants

Motorcycles are much more vulnerable to roadway accidents than automobiles. Because of this, riders can quickly become grim statistics. Motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to die in an accident than four-wheeled automobile drivers. While 20% of car collisions result in injury or death, a stunning 80% of motorcycle accidents result in the same. And this goes for the passengers too. (motorcycle deaths NHTSA).

No matter what bike you buy, you need to know its strengths and weaknesses like the back of your hand to avoid deadly California motorcycle crash cases. Having a great bike will not prevent the other guy from ruining your day-to-day activities. The vulnerability of a motorcyclist in California or the United States generally remains underscored by the number of traffic fatalities of motorcyclists and automobile drivers. These stats are based on accidents per 100 million miles of travel.

For multi-passenger automobiles, the fatality rate per 100 million miles of travel was 1.7 deaths. However, the death rate for motorcyclists was 35.0 deaths per 100 million miles of travel. Riders are in danger of suffering traffic fatalities even when everything seems to be running smoothly.

City Motorcycle Riding, Severe Injuries, Death

City riding in the Greater Los Angeles area appears to be the most dangerous to life and limb. Cars are more vigilant or downright oblivious when observing motorcyclists traveling the roads than they are when it comes to the less obvious vehicle, truck, or bus.

However, the City, County, or State becomes a defendant when poorly maintained or altered roads cause a single-vehicle collision or fixed object strike. So even if the other driver crashed into you negligently, they might bring in one of these other parties to contribute, based upon their degree or percentage of fault for your causing your injuries. This joinder of parties happens when bikes fall in potholes or incorrectly marked construction zones, for example.

The most generous motorcycle collisions consist of standard motor vehicles striking a motorcyclist riding down the highway on the surface streets. This known danger means riders must pay special attention when cruising around cities, especially L.A.

Due to unprotected riding, serious bodily injuries, and death, are frequent occurrences. And this should come as no shock to anyone with common sense. When a person gets launched from a motorcycle, the body flails around, and the rider has little control over where or how he will fall, hitting the earth hard.

Many will land on their head, shatter their shoulders and collar bones and even snap their thigh bones. Spine injury is a known cause of permanent paralysis. Even more common injuries, like road rash and hairline fractures, can cause you to lose time off work. Lack of finances becomes real.

The cards are always stacked against a wounded rider. Moreover, this remains truer when a disfigured or broken motorcyclist is unrepresented by legal counsel. Overcoming a biased police report and gathering evidence is so vital that it is crazy not to hire a motorcycle lawyer.

What Do The Motorcycle Collision Statistics Tell Us About Rider Hazards?

More than half of all motorcycle accidents are caused by the other vehicle driver. Below are a few statistics regarding motorcycle collision causes and types of harm. And this remains illustrative in understanding. But it’s only based on reported incidents. The facts as of 1981 relate that 3/4 of traffic mishaps involving motorbikes were primarily motorcars versus bikes.

The other 25% of roadway hazards injuring riders involved single-vehicle spills caused by road defects and striking or getting struck by an object. The studies assert that approximately 2/3 of those alarming cases were from rider error.

A standard error is over-reliance on the rear brakes and spinning out. Curb jumping, taking corners too fast, and fast riding remain known causes of these crashes.

Left-Hand Turn Accidents?

By far, most motorcyclists get injured in left-hand turn incidents. And it often happens when a car driver attempts to beat the traffic signal and negotiates a left-hand turn when a motorcycle is heading toward the intersection on a green or yellow light. It cuts the rider off and causes them to slam into the side of the car.

  • The Number One Reason Motorcycle Lawyers Lose Left-Hand Turn Cases Is Lack of Proof?

Very true. Improper turning is a huge reason for crashing. Even though the biker had a valid license and the legal right of way, the at-fault party’s automobile insurance company that cut the rider off will typically argue that the cyclist (you) ran a red light or was riding on the wrong side of the road, etc. This problem is why we harp on how vital it will be for you to gather witness statements of bystanders who will verify you had a green or yellow signal; go ahead. We also preach the concept of ambulance transportation to the hospital FROM the crash site.

Now you will have an E.M.T. or two, police, fire depart personnel, and bystanders, all potential witnesses. These people saw the debris field, crashed vehicles, and saw, heard, and observed the surroundings. Are you getting all of this so far? Evidence wins cases. No matter how big you think your bodily injury claims seem, you can’t seek compensation for your pain, suffering, medical bills, or lost wages without proof of party fault.

Drunk Driving Kills Motorcycle Riders

We all know not to drink and drive, smoke marijuana, or take other drugs over the legal limit when driving. One of the most tragic rider-killing causes involves the alcohol usage of other drivers or bikers. So preventable drinking and driving remain a significant problem. Also, according to NHTSA, alcohol is one of the most critical factors that cause such accidents. In 2003, a complete 30% of all motorcycle accident fatalities were due in part to alcohol, with a blood-alcohol concentration of over 0.08 g/dL, the legal alcohol limit. Drinking and driving is a terrible factor in too many deaths.

Awareness can save your life. When riding bikes, there is an outstanding obligation to keep track of your surroundings. Not just your life depends on it, but also on other riders and drivers. Keep the roads safe and be an excellent example for the others on it.

Riding Gear And Safety Measures

Statistics show fewer daylight injuries happen when headlamps remain on. Also, wearing unique armored riding jackets and steel-toe riding boots saves lives. Most experts say you should wear brightly colored helmets and vests as well. And these items do help prevent facial injuries like lacerations, or road rash, in an individual case.

But safety equipment only sometimes prevents more significant wounds like skull fractures and broken bones. And no safety measures will stop an aggressive auto operator with road rage.

Some people in your age group have vengeful agendas and run motorcyclists over because they don’t like bikers, the color of your bike, or your skin. So riders must be on the lookout. When riding motorcycles, you must keep your head on a swivel.

Helmets Remain Vital To Safer Cycling

Wearing a proper riding helmet is the number one lifesaver in all motorcycle accidents. And this is because head protection helps shield your brain during impacts to your skull. Without the use of that gray matter, you would be a vegetable. A helmet drastically diminishes the chances of a head or neck injury. And this can seriously reduce the chances of a fatal brain wound or loss of use of bodily functions post-accident.

Equipment, particularly The Department of Transportation’s (D.O.T.) approved register of riding helmets, can help reduce the severity of injuries and fatalities in accidents but not prevent them. Deaths in 2006 were 4,810. However, stats show that approximately 1,658 motorcyclists had gotten saved by helmet usage during the same year. And as discussed, helmets should always comply with the standards of safety set by the government. Also, statisticians argue that In 2006 if 752 motorcyclists had complied with standards for their helmets, they wouldn’t have died in motorcycle accidents.

Riding Experience Is Not Conclusive In Accident Reduction?

True. As discussed previously, over half of the wrecked bikers had five months or less rider experience. But astoundingly, acquaintance with the particular motorcycle model is central to accident avoidance, not time-riding bikes in general.

Over Relying on Rear Brakes Means Greater Risks Of Injury Or Death?

True. Another exciting discovery is that riders over-rely on their rear brakes often. Many believe they will flip the bike in a nosedive if they use their front brakes. But this creates the problem of slide-outs, which are also deadly. An excellent tip for all riders is to use the front and rear in tandem.

Motor Vehicle Operator Inattentiveness?

Distracted motorists kill, simple as that. The last most significant motorcycle accident causation factor is riders and motorists daydreaming, ho-humming, or otherwise being distracted by a phone, electronic device, or even a soft drink. Distracted eating, texting, and farting around applying makeup cause or contribute to more crashes than any other single factor.

Motorcycle Weight Displacement Can Cause Wrecks?

Here is some good news and troubling facts for you, Goldwingers and Harley Bagger Riders. Bikes with larger motors and overall displacement have a lower percentage of roadway accidents. So that’s a good thing. Well, wait a minute, not so fast. And as with any good news, now comes the bad stuff.

When a giant bike wrecks, the biker’s injuries are statistically more devastating to the riders and passengers. This evidence is much like the Coronavirus effect, where accidents went down from 2020-2021, but road speeds increased along with traffic deaths reported by overall percentage.

Inclement Weather And California Motorcycle Wrecks

Interestingly, weather conditions by and of themselves are not a statistically significant cause of traffic collisions involving motorcycles. But bad weather conditions often combine with other human-made conditions to cause these types of wrecks.

Speed And Motorcycle Accidents

Mostly, motorcycle accidents are at lower speeds. Typically they travel at 30 mph or less. Most wrecks take place close to home. So a trip intended to be quick places riders most at risk. Examples include a trip to the grocery store. An expensive, high-performance machine can give a rider a false sense of security. Some bikes are so stable at high speeds that one forgets how fast one is accelerating. Rate is helpful sometimes, enabling bikers to escape hazardous scenes rapidly.

Race bikes, as opposed to more lumbering, less nimble bagger bikes, come to mind. But speed can increase the chances of more severe injuries and death for a rider. As noted, the risks are much more significant than for the driver of a car. In 2006, speed was a factor in 37% of motorcycle fatalities.

But fatalities for frequent collisions involving speed were only 23%. However, most motorcycle accidents happen when the bike travels less than 30 miles per hour. Reducing the rate only protects a vulnerable rider from some risks of the asphalt jungle.

Fatal And Serious Injury Motorcycle Accidents

Statistics from 2005 relate that individuals suffered 411 fatalities and at least 9,061 injuries while riding motorcycles. Remember that these numbers are what law enforcement reports as injuries and accidents. There are probably even more injuries that go unreported.

With increasing number of riders on the streets, injuries and riding accidents are rising. Most injuries were from auto drivers ignoring the road and cutting off the motorcyclist.

On a national scale, in 1997, accidents involving motorcycles that caused injuries were much lower than ever. The total number was 2,116. But ever since 1998, more cataclysmic riding events have occurred. Rider deaths have gradually risen as well.

California Cities Most Dangerous To Riders:

Los Angeles 29 716
Beverly Hills 1 15
Palm Springs 0 1
Modesto 2 51
Palmdale 0 13
Bakersfield 2 43
Barstow 0 5
Rancho Cucamonga 2 24
Victorville 0 8
Riverside 1 52

Dense Cities Most Dangerous to Bikers:

It makes sense that a dense city like L.A. Or San Francisco would present challenges for riders and car drivers. There are so many riding distractions; it would be easy to miss seeing a cyclist until it is too late. Road defects, unsafe construction zones, and many other incidences come with cities.

The accidents are known as “single rider” or “single-vehicle collisions.” These account for 25% of reported injury cases. Also, a short run to the store, as opposed to a road trip, is almost always more dangerous, for example. The same goes for passenger car travel. So the close to your residence, the more likely an accident will happen.

Don’t Be A Motorcycle Accident Statistic – You Must Know Your Bike!

Understanding the particular make and model is of supreme importance. Only assume an Enduro will perform like a Vespa. Most injuries occur within five months of owning the new bike, even for veteran riders. Rider training and absolute knowledge of the mechanics are critical. Knowing the advantages and limitations of motorcycles can help unlucky riders avoid serious injuries.

For example, it teaches them how to do a controlled skid. Riding classes teach students quick lane escapes so they can avoid collisions. Also, they explore other common sense and defensive riding techniques. In particular, all riders must avoid solely relying upon their rear brakes. Veterans teach novices to ride safer and better. So what could be wrong with that?

Above, we discussed the most dangerous cities for riders in California. If you want to learn more about motorcycle wrecks, please peruse our website. And we also discussed some motorcycle accident statistics for the various significant risks to riders on California roads near Torrance, the South Bay, or Downtown Los Angeles. The bottom line is if you’re used to riding a race bike, you suddenly want a Harley. You need to adjust your riding techniques and habits to avoid being struck by passenger vehicles, big rig trucks, and other vehicles. Factors to consider are the high and low-speed performance of the bike.

Speaking with a superior personal injury attorney and protecting your damages claim is vital to protect your rights to justice (compensation). We will hold your hand, listen and problem-solve as you and the survivors try and overcome the shock and pain. If you or your close family suffered the wrongful death of your close loved one, we help.

Contact Our Charismatic California Motorcycle Lawyers Today!

Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC is a top Los Angeles Based lawyer with locations and meeting places in Torrance, Long Beach, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, West Los Angeles, and even in the Inland Empire like San Bernardino, CA. Our trustworthy Southern California personal injury law firm offers 24/7 support for hurt and scared accident victims.

We will give you the confidence and strength by your side you deserve as you grieve and recover from your motorcycle crashes. Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney Michael Ehline and his top team of litigators and trial lawyers will discuss your potential injury or fatal accident case at (213) 596-9642.

Contact us today if you want to learn more about motorcycle-related crash law with injury claims. You can use our convenient online contact form below to receive your free consultation at no obligation or cost. Let us help you get maximum compensation today!

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Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
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Michael Ehline

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We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.