There is a mystique about motorcycles. Whether you love or hate them, you cannot ignore them. Bikes are romantic, sexy, muscular, dynamic, and terrifying…all in one package.
Westminster, CA is one of those places blessed with two great motorcycle shops, just down the street from each other. One is the grandest, baddest, most noble and beloved American tradition in motorcycles: Harley Davidson. Just wearing one of their T-shirts seems to give one a spirit of the open road. The other shop is for the fast and furious racers…the young and hip riders who think they are indestructible.
And that leads to the point. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA, 13.10 cars out of 100,000 ended up in fatal accidents. However, the rate for motorcycles is 72.34 per 100,000 registered motorcycles. Motorcycles also have a massively higher fatality accident rate per unit of distance traveled when compared with automobiles. Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists’ risk of a fatal crash is 35 times greater than a passenger car. Motorcycles have 16 times the rate of serious injuries per 100 million vehicle miles compared to cars, and double the rate of bicycles.
Somehow, those numbers only tend to feed the passion bikers have for their rides. But those are national numbers. Let’s look at where you and I live, especially if you live in Orange County or in and around Westminster:
• Motorcycle accident death rates increased among all rider age groups between 1998 and 2010 • Motorcycle accident deaths were nearly 30 times more than drivers of other vehicles • Motorcycle riders aged below 40 are 36 times more likely to be killed than other vehicle operators of the same age.
• Motorcycle riders aged 40 years and over are around 20 times more likely to be killed than other drivers of that same age.
According to the NHTSA, 4,008 motorcycle occupants were killed on United States roads in 2011, an 8% increase from 2010.
During that same period, drivers of automobiles showed a 10% increase in fatalities, and cyclists showed an 8% increase in fatalities. Pedestrians also showed a 10% increase in fatalities. A total of 37,304 automobile occupants were killed on U.S. roads in 2011.
Additional data reveals that there are over four million motorcycles registered in the United States. Motorcycle fatalities represent approximately five percent of all highway fatalities each year, yet motorcycles represent just two percent of all registered vehicles in the United States. One of the main reasons motorcyclists are killed in crashes is because the motorcycle itself provides virtually no protection in a crash. For example, approximately 80 percent of reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death; a comparable figure for automobiles is about 20 percent.
No, this is not to discourage you from riding. It is merely a suggestion to be prepared. If you or a loved one have recently experienced a motorcycle accident in Westminster or any other locality, there so many situations to handle; so many questions to answer. Don’t let questions haunt you. Immediately contact the Westminster motorcycle accident attorneys at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys to help you find some real answers.