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Keeping Up With Motorcycle Safety in Santa Barbara


Keeping Up With Motorcycle Safety in Santa Barbara

I’m Ed Smith, a Santa Barbara motorcycle accident lawyer. California is serious about motorcycle safety. With over 800,000 motorcycles registered in the state and the highest number of riders in the country, it has to be.

National Statistics on Injuries and Deaths

According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of motorcyclists killed in collisions increased in 2015 over 2014 from 3 percent to 4, 976. However, the number of injuries decreased significantly from 92,000 in 2014 to 88,000 in 2015. Because of their vulnerability, motorcyclists are injured five times more frequently than someone in a motor vehicle and are 29 times more likely to die when involved in an accident.

Common Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study of over 1 million injuries suffered by motorcyclists who made visits to the emergency room. What they discovered was that 30 percent of injuries were to the legs and feet. Twenty-two percent of the riders had head and neck injuries, including brain injuries. Closely following these types of injuries were those to the shoulder and back and chest trauma. The statistics showed that wearing a protective helmet could lower the fatality risk by 30 percent.

Reducing the Risk Through Training

There are preventative measures a motorcycle rider can take to reduce the risk of serious injuries or death. The California Highway Patrol is responsible for motorcycle safety training in the state. All riders under 21 must take the California Motorcyclist Safety Program course, while riders over 21 must either take the CHP approved course, provide a copy of the DL389 or take the driving test at the DMV.

Factors That Contribute to a Motorcycle Accident:

  • Speeding: Excess speed was determined to be a factor in 33 percent of all motorcycle accident fatalities in 2015.
  • Alcohol use: In 2015, 21 percent of the motorcyclists who were involved in an accident resulting in a fatality were legally drunk with a BAC level of 0.08 or higher.
  • Motorcycle type: Those who rode on super sport motorcycles died at a rate four times higher than on other motorcycles because of their ability to reach a much higher speed.
  • Riding without a license: In 2015, 27 percent of riders involved in a fatal crash were unlicensed.
  • Age: The age of the rider was also a contributing factor in fatal crashes. Brown University researchers reported that older riders tend to prefer larger bikes with more tendency to rollover. They also cited slower reaction time and poorer vision as contributing factors.

Related Topics:

Motorcycle Conspicuity, Motorcycle Accidents, and the Importance of Being Visible

The Rights of Motorcycle Riders Involved in Motorcycle Accidents

What Factors May Affect a Motorcycle Injury Claim?


Santa Barbara Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Santa Barbara motorcycle accident lawyer. Please call me at (805) 372-0200 for my free, friendly advice or toll-free at (800) 404-5400.  If you have been injured or a loved one has died due to the negligent actions of another person, you may be able to recover fair compensation for your injuries or file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages for the loss of your loved one.

The following three links lead to Yelp, Avvo and Google, which contain reviews and ratings by my former clients. This link leads to case results for prior clients: Verdicts and Settlements.

For 35 years, I have practiced as an injury lawyer in California, including Santa Barbara, defending the rights of those who have suffered traumatic injuries or wrongful deaths in their families in obtaining just compensation.

As a California member of the Million Dollar Advocates, I belong to a forum that only accepts trial lawyers with a proven settlement/verdict record of $1 million or over for clients.

My website,, offers comprehensive information on personal injuries.

Photo Attribution: Motorcycle_accident_in_Kendal_Manchester.jpg

Final Photograph: Santa Barbara Motorcycle Accident Lawyer, Ed Smith

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