Although we are motorcycle accident lawyers, we are, first and foremost, motorcycle riders. If you or a loved one are injured in a motorcycle accident in Orange County (or anywhere else) we are here to help you. But we mean it when we say that we hope you never need us. In an effort to inform our clients and readers and promote motorcycle safety awareness, we publish motorcycle safety information and motorcycle accident statistics. Nationwide motorcycle accident statistics may be found here.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle accident fatalities in Orange County have increased in recent years. The NHTSA concludes that this increase may be due to: more motorcycles on the road, larger engines, age demographics, unlicensed riders, and drunk riding, among other things. As motorcycle accident lawyers and motorcyclists who travel Orange County highways and roads nearly every day, we think the NHTSA ignored a fundamental cause of motorcycle accidents: careless drivers. All too often, we see accidents where motorcyclists are rear ended, sideswiped, or crushed at intersections by drivers who never saw them, and never even bothered to look. In many cases, the law enforcement officer writing up the accident report assumes that the motorcyclist was at fault, either because of the way they look or because they assume that motorcycles are always speeding or driving recklessly. A scathing article that appeared in the November, 2007 issue of Biker Magazine discusses this anti-motorcycle bias.
In June, 2010, the NHTSA conducted a study of motorcycle accidents in Orange County entitled: “Motorcycle Crash Causes and Outcomes: Pilot Study.” You can view a complete copy of the study here. The study examined motorcycle accidents throughout Orange County, and gathered information from the the Anaheim Police Department, CHP (Border Division, Capistrano, Santa Ana, and Westminster), City of Santa Ana Police Department, Costa Mesa Police Department, and Orange County Sheriff. Unfortunately, the report does not make any particular conclusions as to motorcycle accident causes or safety, as it was just a preliminary study done to determine how the NHTSA should conduct the actual study. Leave it to the government to conduct a study on how to conduct a study! Our tax dollars hard at work! Nevertheless, we will keep you posted on any new information from the NHTSA. Given the source material, however, we have no doubt it will contain the same, anti-motorcycle bias contained in previous reports.