Cars are safer now than ever. A recent report indicates that car accident fatalities are at 50 year lows and new car designs will continue to drive the number of car accident deaths down for the foreseeable future.
Motorcyclists are not as fortunate however. Motorcyclists have little to protect themselves in the case of an accident and often suffer catastrophic injuries even if they wear helmets and the proper gear. The number of California motorcycle accident deaths was on the decline until 2011, when the number of motorcycle accident deaths jumped 21 percent.
Many individuals attribute the growing number of fatal motorcycle accidents to driver distraction. Poor driving habits are the cause of the majority of traffic accidents in general and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to being hit by distracted drivers because of their smaller vehicle size.
"I'm trained to be a defensive rider," said a California Highway Patrol officer who is an avid motorcyclist. "I'm only as safe as the environment around me."
In order to promote motorcycle safety, the Governor's Highway Safety Association named last month as "Motorcycle Awareness Month." Although safety groups and personal injury attorneys spent May promoting safe driving habits, car drivers should practice motorcycle awareness throughout the year in order to help stop the growing trend of motorcycle accidents.
Source: NBC Los Angeles, "California Motorcycle Deaths on the Rise," Jacob Rascon and Yvonne Beltzer, May 25, 2012