As motorcycle fatalities and injuries have increased in California, the law enforcement and the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) have stepped up their efforts to promote safety and education, highlighted by Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May.
Nationwide, motorcyclists made up 14 percent of all vehicle-related fatalities in 2013, up from about 9 percent in 2004. This was despite motorcycle registrations representing only 3 percent of all vehicles in the United States in 2013, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data. The fatality rate per miles traveled for motorcyclists is 16 times that of vehicle occupants.
In 2013, California’s motorcycle collisions resulted in 475 fatalities and 13,143 injured victims. In 2012, 467 people were killed and 12,617 were injured.
“Motorcyclists are out in force as Californian’s enjoy perfect weather conditions this time of year, which is why May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness,” Chief Edward Medrano of the Gardena Police Department said. “Fatal crashes with motorcycles are on the rise. We all need to be more aware of motorcyclists in order to save lives.”
During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month – and throughout the year – all road users are reminded to safely "share the road" with motorcyclists, and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe. That message is most important in California, which is home to more than 830,000 registered motorcycles – the most of any state – and more than 1.4 million motorcycle riders.
“Californians increasingly get around by means other than cars and trucks. More are bicycling, walking, taking mass transit and motorcycling,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “That also means that everyone needs to be extra cautious and looking out for everyone else, no matter what their means of transportation is.”