California offers motorcycle enthusiasts some of the best riding terrain and weather in the country. From the expansive desert roads to rolling mountain routes to coastal highways, riders enjoy all that the state provides.
Unfortunately, motorcyclists in California also experience significant risks when sharing the road with other drivers.
Recent accidents highlight ongoing dangers
It is all too easy to find reports of accidents in which bikers have been hit or killed by reckless drivers. In Corona recently, CBS Los Angeles indicates that the driver of a minivan struck a rider on a freeway. The motorcyclist was thrown from his bike which became lodged in the van’s front end. The driver continued on and later tried to run from authorities before being arrested. The biker was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
In Visalia, another motorcyclist died after being hit by a vehicle that attempted a U-turn in his path. ABC30.com reported that the vehicle driver began the turn after running through a stop sign. Alcohol was involved although the driver’s blood alcohol content at the time is unknown.
Motorcyclist fatalities in California
Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration expose a tragic trend over the last several years. In 2010, the state recorded 352 motorcyclist fatalities. That number climbed for a few years, reaching 522 in 2014 before dropping to 494 in 2015. The subsequent two years saw more increases, first to 576 and then to 578. In 2018, the number of motorcycle riders killed in accidents dropped again to 488 but remain far greater than in 2010.