Motorcycle Accident Overview

Poor weather and road conditions, a drunk or distracted driver, or careless trucker can be deadly for a motorcycle rider. The majority of motorcycle accidents occur when the driver of another vehicle fails to see the motorcyclist before the collision. Motorcycles do not offer any protection during an accident, and the results could be fatal. The Governors Highway Safety Association is reporting a 10% increase in motorcycle traffic fatalities for 2015.

Wearing a motorcycle helmet is the law in California, and for good reason. Wearing a helmet saves lives. Helmets are one of the most important pieces of safety equipment for a motorcyclist. According to the NHTSA 2009 report, 1,483 lives were saved by the use of helmets, but if 100% of the motorcyclists in the U.S. had been wearing helmets, an additional 732 lives would have been saved that year. Although helmets (required in California) have proven to decrease the number of brain and head injuries, the rest of the body is still susceptible to serious or life-threatening complications. It is important to purchase a helmet that meets the U.S. Department of Transportation safety standards. Helmets that do not meet these standards include "skullcaps", "beanies" and "German army style" helmets. Other safety gear include suits, gloves, and boots specifically designed for riding a motorcycle.

Harry Hurt, Jr. was a professor at the University of Southern California in 1979 when he was commissioned to do a comprehensive study on the causes of motorcycle accidents, look at the effectiveness of safety gear and figure out what might prevent accidents and injuries. It remains today the only comprehensive study ever done on motorcycles.