Motorcycle-car accidents: the car may be at fault, but wearing a helmet reduces the chance of serious injury.
California has more than 1.3 million registered motorcycle riders. In 2008, 500 motorcyclists died and about 10,000 were injured in California traffic collisions. Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows that motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely to die in an accident than occupants of other vehicles. In California, motorcycle-related deaths and injury are on the rise.
Two thirds of motorcycle accidents occur when a motor vehicle driver fails to see a motorcycle and violates the rider’s right of way. Unfortunately, it is usually the motorcycle rider who sustains the more serious injuries.
Last week, a motorcyclist was killed in Riverside County after his motorcycle was struck at a Palms Spring intersection. The accident occurred on the afternoon of January 15th. Thirty-seven year old, Palm Springs resident Ryan Wade Woosley was riding his motorcycle east on Dinah Shore Drive when he was hit by a white Buick making a turn at Crossley Road. Woosley died of his injuries. The Buick then collided with a BMW. The occupants of the Buick sustained only minor injuries, while the BMW’s driver and passenger were uninjured.
Motorcycle riders can take steps to increase their visibility and protect themselves from serious injury and death. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a very common injury sustained in motorcycle crashes. A properly-fitted helmet is the single most important piece of safety gear for motorcyclists and their passengers. It won’t provide complete protection form TBI, but according to a USC study, wearing a helmet will reduce the severity of TBIs, reduce the number of days spent in the hospital, and reduce the overall coast of injuries after a crash.
In addition to protecting the rider’s brain, helmets protect eyes from eye injury and reduce neck injury. If you were a helmet without a face shield, goggles or safety glasses offer some protection.
Clothing should be form-fitting to avoid tangling in the kick starter. Clothing should be made of leather and sleeves and pants legs should be full length to protect from abrasion. Gloves should allow a solid grip on the controls of the bike. Footwear should be well-fitting and sturdy. All laces should be tied and tucked so they don’t interfere with moving parts.
Other factors that contribute to motorcycle fatalities are:
• Driving at unsafe speeds
• Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
If you are injured or have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident and are experiencing difficulties getting insurance compensation, contact the Southern California motorcycle accident attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie. Call us at 866-981-5596 to schedule a free consultation.