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Important Tips for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

MotorcycleMay is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which highlights the importance of motorcyclists and other motorists sharing the road safely together.

Motorcycles accidents take the lives of dozens of riders every year, so increased awareness of the basic rules of the road will go far in reducing fatalities and injuries that occur as a result of motorcycle crashes.

The staff at Ellis Law would like to remind all motorists in California the importance of safely sharing the road with motorcycles and other types of vehicles today.

Goal of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

The goal of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is to increase safety on the roads for motorcyclists by reminding other motorists to share the road with them. The campaign also urges motorcycle riders to make themselves as visible to cars around them as possible, to avoid potential accidents. In addition, the month is used to increase awareness about the dangers of operating a motorcycle while intoxicated.

In California, the CHP and the California Office of Traffic Safety team up to raise awareness about how motorcycle safety benefits other motorists as well as motorcycle riders. CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow stated in a press release, “Vehicle drivers and motorcyclists share responsibility for creating a safe roadway environment. Drivers must always be aware that motorcycles may be closer than they seem and motorcyclists must always ride defensively.”

In addition, local law enforcement in different areas are doing their part to create safer roadways by increasing enforcement of basic traffic laws throughout the month of May. For example, the Santa Monica Police Department conducts Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operations during the month to remind motorcyclists and other drivers that preventing collisions begins with adherence to the traffic safety laws. Police officers will be stationed at locations where motorcycle collisions are more prevalent to ensure drivers in those areas are heeding all traffic laws.

In addition to sharing the road and looking twice before changing lanes, Santa Monica police recommend motorcyclists always ride with their lights on, even during daylight hours. Motorcycle riders should also match speeds to traffic, wear helmets and choose bright-colored protective clothing that is easier for other drivers to see.

Motorcyle accidents on the rise

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, there are more than 862,000 registered motorcycles in the state and 1.4 million licensed motorcycle riders. Motorcycles are most prevalent on California roads during the spring and summer months, which is why May is a timely month to raise awareness about motorcycle safety.

Collisions and deaths involving motorcycles have been on the rise in recent years in the state. Numbers from CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records show that collisions involving motorcycles increased four percent between 2013 and 2014. Fatalities also increased by more than 12 percent between those two years, with 463 motorcycle-related fatalities in 2013 and 519 fatalities in 2014, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.

In 2012, the most common type of motorcycle crash that resulted in a fatality was a broadside. This typically occurs when a vehicle or motorcycle gets hit on the side while trying to make a left-hand turn. Other types of crashes that ended in fatalities were hitting an object, getting rear-ended or overturning the motorcycle.

The need for legal help

Victims of motorcycle crashes often face injuries that are catastrophic and life-changing. They may require months or even years of medical treatment, be unable to work and make a living for themselves and their family. If the accident was not caused by any fault of their own, the consequences can seem even more unfair.

In these situations, accident victims are often entitled to damages for their injuries, medical bills and lost wages. The person responsible for the accident may be required to compensate the victim under the law. However, experienced legal representation is necessary to protect the rights of the victim and ensure compensation is fairly awarded.

If you or someone you love has been injured, legal help is available. Contact the Ellis Injury Law firm today at 1-800-INJURED for a free case assessment by a veteran Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer.