California Motorcycle Statistics

California Motorcycle Accident Statistics
In 2005, 411 motorcyclists were killed and an additional 9,347 were injured in traffic collisions in California. Despite motorcycles being only 2.1% of all vehicles registered in California, motorcyclists account for 9.4% of all traffic fatalities statewide.

Between 1986 and 1999, California enjoyed a 13-year decline in motorcyclist fatalities and severe injuries. Moreover, in 1998, the state reached a 21-year low with only 200 motorcyclist fatalities and 6,330 motorcyclist injuries. Starting in 1999,  however, these numbers have been on the increase, and a swell in the number of registered motorcycles in 2005 nearly doubled the 1998 figures.

Although there are over 1.3 million licensed motorcyclists in the state, the statistics on motorcyclists show a disproportionate rate of collisions compared to numbers of riders and to other traffic. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data indicate that for the same per-mile exposure, motorcyclists are roughly 28 times more likely to die than occupants of other non-motorcycle vehicles are.

Data indicate the following:

  • A 102% increase in motorcycle fatalities from 1998 to 2005, compared to a 24% increase for all traffic fatalities statewide.
  • A 63% increase in severe motorcycle injuries from 1998 to 2005, compared to a 4.9% increase for all traffic severe injuries statewide.

Another conspicuous trend involves the number of motorcyclist fatalities versus the age of the drivers. Several groups of riders are overrepresented when compared to their presence in the motorcycle riding population. For example, a small percentage of owners are riders aged 15-19 (4%) years and 20-24 (6%) years, yet the riders in these two age groups represent nearly twice that percentage of fatalities (11-13%). A second group of riders that are overrepresented according to their presence in the population is riders aged 25-54. Additionally,  it should also be noted that 90% of the fatal victims are male.

The primary cause for 59% of the motorcycle collisions were attributed to three factors:

  • Unsafe speed,
  • Improper turning, and
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs

Of the motorcycle-involved collisions, 65% of the fatal and 56% of the injury collisions were the fault of the motorcyclist.
*Source:  California Highway Patrol

Arnold Law Firm aggressively represents California motorcyclists injured by the negligent or careless actions of others. For more than 30 years, we have fought for full compensation of medical bills, lost income and other damages for the victims of accidents and catastrophic injuries. Our Sacramento motorcycle accident lawyers pride themselves on giving each client the individual attention they need. For a free case review, call (916) 924-3100 today or click here.