Motorcycle Accident Statistics for California

Motorcycle Accident Statistics for California

Did you know that California is home to the most motorcyclists in the United States? With approximately 800,000 registered motorcycles in the state as of 2017, California houses the highest number of motorcyclists in the nation, followed by Florida (which has 550,000) and Texas (which has 445,000).

Did you also know that California ranked number 15 out of the 50 states for the most motorcyclist fatalities in 2018? Although this may strike you as alarming and concerning, it is important not to shy away from this information. Instead, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the facts and risks you run when riding a motorcycle through the Golden State.In this piece, we examine California motorcycle accident statistics to offer you the important knowledge you will need to stay safe on the roads.

Fluctuations in Motorcyclist Death Statistics Over the Years

In 1994, deaths from motorcycle crashes only made up 5.7% of the total motor vehicle deaths in the United States. However, in 2016, it was reported that this figure had jumped closer to 15%. This spike is especially concerning considering the fact that motorcycles only make up roughly 3% of all registered motor vehicles in the U.S. What is even more concerning is the fact that California’s motorcycle deaths accounted for more than 15% of the nation’s total motor vehicle fatalities.

Despite these troubling statistics from 2016, a promising report emerged in 2017 from the Governors Highway Safety Association showing a massive drop in motorcycle accident fatalities. Preliminary data conveyed that the number of California deaths decreased from 566 to 406 in 2017, signaling a 28.3% decline. Meanwhile, U.S. fatalities fell by roughly 5.6% within the same time period.

Similarly, from 2017 to 2018, the number of California’s motorcyclist deaths from not wearing a helmet plummeted by 33%, going from 45 in 2017 to 30 in 2018.
However, in 2019, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) reported that the number of motorcyclist deaths in California had increased again slightly, stating that there had been 474 motorcyclist fatalities that year. These motorcycle accident deaths comprised 13% of the state’s total motor vehicle deaths that year, which totaled at 3,606.

Common Motorcycle Crash Types

According to Berkley University of California, the five most common motorcycle accident types in California in 2017 were as follows:

  • Broadside (27%)
  • Overturned (18.8%)
  • Hit Object (16.2%)
  • Rear End (14.3%)
  • Sideswipe (10.9%)

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

That same report outlined that the most common causes of these same accidents assessed in the study were:

  • Unsafe Speed (29.5%)
  • Car Right of Way (18.7%)
  • Improper Turning (17.4%)
  • Impaired Driving (9.6%)
  • Unsafe Lane Changes (5.8%)

If you have been implicated in a motorcycle accident, you need to seek the legal help you deserve. Do not wait – request a free consultation with one of our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys today to get a seasoned legal expert in your corner.

Clearly, motorcycle accidents are not a rarity in California. As a result, if you plan to take to the roads on your own motorcycle, it is important for you to be aware of the relevant risks to prevent a crash. If you do experience a crash, do not panic – instead, call the Law Offices of Brent W. Caldwell Injury Attorneys to get the assistance you need and deserve.