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Concerns about motorcycle accidents rise following sales increase

There are a variety of different users of the roadways in California -- all of whom have equal rights to use the road. Unfortunately, a recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association has noted an alarming number of motorcycle accidents. Because there was an increase in the number of motorcycles sold in the first quarter of the year, some worry that there could be an increase in the number of accidents.

According to reports, 4,668 were killed in accidents involving motorcycles in 2013. In 2014, there was a 1.8 percent decrease in the number of deaths in comparison to 2013. While a decrease may seem promising, the number is still significantly higher than those seen in the 1990s. In fact, motorcycle deaths made up 5 percent of motor vehicle related fatalities in 1997 but 14 percent in most recent years.

Making the percentage even more startling is that motorcycles only account for 3 percent of vehicles that are on the roadway. Some reports indicate that those on a motorcycle are 26 percent more likely to die in an accident than those in a more traditional passenger vehicle. Motorcycle fatalities are a particular concern for California as it was ranked third in the number of motorcycle fatalities in 2013.

Some professionals who study motorcycle accidents say that many incidents involve lack of helmets or certain safety features on the bikes themselves. However, even when taking these measures, motorcyclists in California are at risk for serious injury as a result of negligent drivers. As a result, victims -- including family members in the event of fatalities -- are left facing a bleak financial future as many find loss of wages and funeral expenses overwhelming. Fortunately, there are legal options that could lead to financial relief for those suffering as a result of another's negligence.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Motorcycle sales up, motorcycle fatalities high", Charles Fleming, May 20, 2016

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